When the entire world is focused on one topic, how do you get your message to rise to the top and be heard?
Throughout the pandemic, we used a few tried-and-true best practices to help our health care clients cut through the noise and gain meaningful media coverage. Even as the world works to put COVID-19 in the rearview mirror, these tips can help your company stand out from the rest.
Routine Checkups on the Conversations and Voices That Matter
To get in on the conversation surrounding a fast-moving global topic, you must know what the conversation is, where it is going and the voices bringing it to life. Whether through Google searches or tools like Muck Rack develop a way to keep a finger on the pulse of the conversation and proactively make inroads.
Focus on the journalists, the voices bringing the stories to life. As with any healthy relationship, your relationship with a journalist should be a two-way street. Develop the habit of reaching out to journalists outside of the times when you are looking to them for coverage. Check in with them. See if they need a resource for a quote. See what they are working on and if you have any helpful resources they can utilize. Additionally, a simple “thank you for the coverage; we’re on standby should you need a resource in the future” can go a long way in building a reliable relationship.
Expert Insights: Just What the Doctor Ordered
Nearly every article features a quote from a thought leader, is backed by a data or cites another source to reinforce credibility. Make sure that source is your company’s expert.
By positioning key leadership and personnel as industry thought leaders and making them accessible to media, you open your client up to being viewed not only as a subject matter expert but as a living, breathing resource for media to turn to when they need credibility and context for a story.
Balanced Pitching, Healthy Brand
It is important to develop a strategy to balance visibility content with meaningful content that adds to the conversation. Coverage from personnel announcements, award recognitions and otherwise “press release” material has a place, but it doesn’t typically move the needle on your expert’s being viewed as a thought leader.
Instead, have you collected feedback on an issue? Do you have insight on an emerging trend? What about thoughts on the current landscape? Attaining coverage in these areas may require more legwork and effort, but it can begin the process of being repositioned as not just a conversation contributor but a conversation driver.
Patients” or “Patience”
As with most things in life, have patience.
Establishing relationships with journalists, positioning key personnel as thought leaders, garnering meaningful coverage and ultimately driving the conversation take time. With the right strategy, proactiveness and tenacity, the coverage and positioning will come.
While this example is rooted in experience gained during a global catastrophe, these tips can be applied to even the simplest of communications campaigns. So, in the meantime, manage expectations, keep your finger on the pulse, and stay vigilant for opportunities to interject your message into the conversation.