Get Media Exposure and Promotion – In Your Own Words

Over the past few years, as many of you certainly know, the economy has had a marked impact on the media industry, particularly for print journalists. Entire organizations have closed or been acquired and many have laid-off staffers, leaving those left standing busier than ever before (and journalists have always been very, very busy and working under tight deadlines). This represents (in an unfortunate sort of way) an opportunity for individuals and companies hoping to get media exposure for their organizations and activities. Why? Because media outlets are more and more open to

considering “contributed pieces” – content that is written and submitted by the source rather than the journalist. It’s an “odd” sort of practice and with my journalist hat on I’m not sure I think it’s such a good thing. But, with my PR/marketing hat on it definitely holds value for my clients.

Often, when I’m approaching journalists with an idea about an article that might feature one of my clients, I’ll end by saying something like: “I’d be glad to put you in touch with _______ or, alternatively, to provide you with a contributed piece on ______________.” It is not at all uncommon for them to take me up on the offer of a contributed piece.

When doing this, though, just as when doing an interview with the media, there are a couple of key points you need to keep in mind:

  • Go light on the blatant self-promotion. Yes, this is an opportunity to promote yourself and your business, but it should be presented as *news* not advertising.
  • Write with the audience in mind. What about what you have to say will resonate with the audience and provide them with value?
  • Don’t be afraid to “give away your secrets.” These days information is widely available, free of charge. Some of the most successful consultants I work with are those who share their knowledge widely and broadly. It gets their name out there, boosts their credibility and keeps the phones ringing and the email boxes full.
  • Follow up and seek feedback. Thank the publication after your piece has been published and ask for feedback about anything you could do better/differently next time.
  • Explore opportunities for regularly contributed pieces. Even the top publications are open to this; one consultant I know writes a regular column for Fast Company.
  • Make sure your writing skills are at least “good” — remember, the goal is to make the publication’s job easier not more difficult. If too much editing needs to be done on your piece, you won’t have an opportunity to submit again.
  • Don’t be surprised or annoyed if they edit what you submit. It is, after all, editorial not advertising.

First steps: make a list of the publications you’d most like to be covered in, find the name and contact information for the editor that covers your content area and reach out via email (email has become the far-preferred contact point for media professionals) to see if the publication accepts contributed copy.

Recommended Reading:

The Everything Guide to Customer Engagement

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