Start-up Surgery Series: how to maximize your PR coverage – part 1

What happened to the last article published about your company? Is it languishing in a report somewhere? Did it get filed away in an email folder only for it to be forgotten? PR coverage is a great asset, not an end result. It can be one of the most effective tools in your communications kit, and it’s likely you could make it work harder than you currently are. In the first of three blog posts, we reveal what the experts do to maximize their PR coverage.

Why is PR coverage important?

Before we get to the nitty gritty, let’s remember why PR coverage matters: it’s far more credible than advertising or sponsored content – why? Because you have to earn it. An independent journalist, with no connection to your business, has chosen to shine the spotlight on you and your products.

Put simply: when no money has changed hands, coverage is more valuable. And it can help you to:

  1. Increase sales potential:

    your sales team isn’t approaching prospects cold – your potential customers already know about you, because they have read about you. And increased coverage means improved SEO, so you’ll be showing up more in web searches too.

  2. Strengthen brand reputation:

    product and company reviews, thought leadership pieces and comment on industry events, all help to build your company’s reputation. And not just among your customers – they also help you to establish your position with your peers and potential investors.

  3. Recruit and retain talent:

    people care about where they work. They check out what’s being said about the company before they apply for a role, and once they’re with you your external reputation continues to matter. Positive media coverage can help to give you a wider pool of candidates to choose from and build employee loyalty.

But if your coverage is stuck in a slide deck, it’s going to be hard for it to make headway.

Share. Share some more. Then share again

Our first tip (more to come in our next posts): share your coverage as much as you can. Consider the effort that went into getting that piece of coverage. The rounds of edits to your press release. The calls and follow ups to secure an interview. The hours spent drafting, reviewing, and placing your bylined article. Your coverage deserves more than one outing – and should be reaching a much wider section of your target audience.

There are three easy ways to share your coverage more widely, and give more of your potential customers a chance to see that independent take on your company and products:

  1. Website:

    Create an area dedicated to what the media is saying about your company and link out to content – avoid republishing the entire article, as it will likely breach copyright unless you have permission from the original publisher.

  2. Social media:

    Post links to your social feeds – and don’t be shy to repeat them. A LinkedIn update has a lifespan of a day or so. A Facebook status has a shelf life of a few hours. The half-life of a tweet is under 20 minutes. Unless you promote a piece of coverage multiple times on social media, chances are many will miss it.Create a social media content plan and share positive articles about your company every few days; this will ensure that anyone monitoring your posts won’t see the same item too often, while reaching others who may not have spotted it.

  3. Newsletters: 

    If you have a well-maintained, targeted mailing list, use it! Including independent coverage will boost your newsletter’s value to your prospects, customers and, ultimately, your business. Just like your website, create an ‘in the media’ section as part of your newsletter template so that it becomes second nature to add positive coverage to every issue.

Coverage is just one outtake from a successful PR programme

Getting it to work harder, putting it in front of more of your prospects, increasing the number of people that see it, means that you’ll be closer to what you want to achieve through your PR activity, whether that’s building your reputation, widening your customer base, or increasing your market share.

Want to work with a PR agency that can help you make more of your coverage? A3 Communications is the data storage PR specialist and works with vendors to boost their profiles with customers and top journalists, bloggers and analysts. Get in touch to find out more.

And look out for the next two Start-Up Surgery Series posts, where we delve into using coverage to introduce yourself to new customers and how your employees could be your greatest ambassadors.

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