“What do I do with media coverage once it comes in?” I’ve spent nearly two decades in PR, marketing and advertising, and I can count how many times this question has been asked on one hand.
Far too few realize that what you do with media coverage is key to unlocking the ROI of public relations. Yes, quality coverage in the right places increases:
- Ownership of key topics
- Web traffic
But coverage itself is an asset that should be used well beyond its publication date. Simply tossing your latest headlines into your digital newsroom and moving on to the next priority is akin to tossing a custom-made, hand-crafted Swiss Army Knife into the “stuff” drawer in your guest room closet. A versatile, effective tool is just sitting, somewhere, collecting dust, instead of helping to build your business.
And when I say “build your business”, I mean the real stuff. The tangible, bottom-line, “keep the lights on”, measured in dollars and manhours stuff. Like attracting and keeping critical talent, proving to prospective investors that the market is responding to your message, and making sales.
So – when you have a great new piece of coverage:
Who should see it first?
Your employees. They are, after all, doing the important work that’s giving you something meaningful to publicize. Excitedly sharing coverage with your staff reinforces that the world sees value in what you’re doing together, building their confidence and loyalty.
Your investors. They’re not going to throw their connections or their dollars behind something that doesn’t have legs. Media coverage – particularly those pieces that connect your brand to larger industry trends – can go a long way in proving to them that you’re addressing a valid, growing market need.
Who can use it immediately?
Your sales team. Positive coverage is third-party validation that you deliver on your promises as a product or service provider. It also reinforces the idea that your customer is tapping into something exciting and forward-thinking by signing on with you, which bodes well for their lifestyle or long-term position in their market.
Your recruiters. Every employer, particularly those in the early stages of growth, has to demonstrate to new hires that it is its own land of opportunity. What you offer employees in terms of compensation, growth, benefits and culture – not to mention purpose – are the most critical details, but to sign on, they need to believe in you without having worked with you before. What better way to do that than by positive word-of-mouth and momentum in the media?
How can it fuel brand promotion?
The mentions, roundups, quotes and features secured by your communications director or PR team are perfect augmentations to your other marketing activities. Links, visuals and excerpts can be incorporated into social content, email marketing, sell sheets, homepages, newsrooms, investor presentations, and much more, keeping your marketing fresh and full of new proof points (plus ever-powerful third-party validation).
Your media coverage’s journey should be long and varied. It should be bolstering internal and external confidence, and validating your direction as a brand. If you need help deciding where to begin, or how to leverage the coverage you’ve already earned, work with your PR team. Ask for their recommendations on putting coverage to work, and ideally, give them direct access to the right channels to distribute coverage to the right people at the right time.
Then you’ll really get to the heart of everything PR can do to grow your business.
Vanessa Taylor is the general manager of Precision, a nimble and effective division of Matter that applies the agency’s full suite of PR services and vast expertise to brands with highly focused PR needs. She’s also the manager of Matter’s Open Door program, which works with accelerators, co-working spaces and other member organizations to provide free education/training to entrepreneurs who need to manage brand promotion on their own.