How to Extend the Life of A Media Hit

Extend the life of your headline.If an earned media hit lands in a publication but no one sees it … does it generate awareness?

We’ve all been there: we work hard to build a relationship with a reporter and finally secure a stellar feature in a tier one publication. It runs, the client is ecstatic, it gets shared a few times … and then it’s lost in the universe. The spike in web traffic dips back down (or never existed in the first place) and you’re back toward figuring out what’s next in your media relations program.

Okay, we’re being a bit dramatic here. But the truth is, in today’s rapid-fire media landscape, that feature you snagged for your client can get buried underneath new headlines in the blink of an eye. That doesn’t mean it’s not a great hit, it simply means you need to consider other ways (beyond the hit) to get eyeballs on the article itself. How can we extend the life of our media hits so that they’re not just a blip on the radar?

We can start with the most obvious way: promote it. You’re proud of that feature in the New York Times; share it! The good news is we have many vehicles to do this:

  • Social Media: This should be the most basic part of your promotion plan. Sharing the story across your social channels increases the chance that your audiences will see the article. Consider using hashtags to extend your reach to people outside of your usual audience who may be searching for a particular topic that happens to be covered by your piece.
  • Blog: It’s likely your media hit was tied to a hot topic in the relevant industry.  Why not take that article and draft a blog post of your  thoughts from a different perspective altogether? Not only does this give some more exposure to the article, but it provides further insight into how you’re thinking about a particular subject.
  • Newsletter: If you’re on top of your marketing game, you may have a weekly or monthly newsletter that you distribute on a regular basis. Plan to include any relevant hits inside your newsletter for further exposure. In SHIFT’s weekly newsletter, we include some of the latest and greatest pieces of coverage our clients saw over the past week. This is a way to not only show off the great work of our teams – but also to inform people what’s hot in our client’s industries.
  • Online Newsroom: If you or your client do not have an online newsroom, it may be time to think about creating one on your website. A newsroom is a great resource for customers (both current and potential), reporters, and employees to see where your name has been popping up and what type of press your company is receiving. Not to mention your salespeople can point to these articles as proof that you’re a leader in the space. Here is how we formatted our newsroom.

Outside of your owned media channels, you can also consider and plan to use syndication as a tactic. Syndication helps to further promote your content – or in this case an article – across relevant websites. For example, if you recently scored a hit in The Verge about your newest gadget, syndicating the piece can help it be visible on similar websites that support syndication programs, like Mashable.

Using third party services, such as Google AdWords, Taboola and inPowered can help facilitate this for you. One thing to note is that syndication is essentially paid promotion, so you will have to put some money behind it. The payoff can be great though – added exposure, and often times a grateful reporter who is happy to see his or her piece catching more eyeballs.

There are several ways to help extend the lifeline of a great media hit. In a busy world where headlines come and go, it’s worthwhile to brainstorm other ways to show off your work. Try a few of these tactics and see what works for your media program. And if you have other ideas – share them in the comments!

Amanda Grinavich
Senior Marketing Analyst

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Posted on August 13, 2014 in Earned Media, Media, Public Relations

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About the Author

Amanda Grinavich is a Marketing Tech Account Manager at SHIFT Communications. Prior to joining the digital marketing team at SHIFT, Amanda worked on the PR side of the house where she served clients in the technology space. She graduated from Boston University with B.S. in Communications.
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