Philosophical Musings on Coverage

Posted by on March 21st, 2013

It’s like the proverbial tree in the woods:  if you secure coverage but your target audience doesn’t read it, does it count?

Try not to spend too much time philosophizing on this mind bender, there is a set of tactics to help ensure that your coverage does, in fact, make a sound if no one is there to hear (or read) it at first.

This is something most PR folks have to address on a regular basis with clients – while securing great coverage is wonderful, it is often what you do after the third party piece runs that helps move the needle. 

Facing issues such as this one and understanding how to address this challenge is one of the (many) upsides of working for an integrated communications firm: the combined expertise of all departments helps understand how to amplify successes in one sector in different ways.  Getting the most bang for your buck with coverage often relies on a series of marketing and social media tactics to further reach a company’s target audience. 

Some tactics include:

  • Put it on your website. Every company should have a newsroom on its site with a blurb about the piece (or the full piece if rights allow) and a link to the entire story. Once this section of the site is established, when you do repurpose content, for example on social media, you can link back to your site for additional promotion. When a potential customer or investor goes to read the piece they will already be on your site if they want to poke around for more information.
  • Share it on social.  Coverage makes great content to disseminate on social channels – from LinkedIn and Twitter to Facebook and beyond.  It helps validate what your company or executives are doing that makes you best in class.
  • Tell the people know you.  Do you have a friends and family email list?  Maybe a database of current and potential clients / customers?  Let them know how smart the media thinks you are or what a great product a publication said you have – create an HTML emailer and send to these lists.  One note of caution: don’t send them a piece a week, be judicious when blasting to this list and consider packaging more than one hit at a time.
  • Pitch more!  Did you get a great print hit?  Congratulations!  But, no, that doesn’t mean you’re done for the day. Often TV follows print in terms of the stories they run. Look at the piece and see how you can make it a broadcast story and pitch away.

At the end of the day, securing positive coverage on behalf of a client is always a beautiful thing. However, it’s just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to how that one piece impacts the company or brand as a whole, and it is important to seize the opportunity and make sure your story is heard – trees or no trees.