If you’re looking to enhance your marketing efforts, getting an article published about your company essentially provides a third party endorsement to your products and services.
You don’t need the luxury of a million-dollar ad budget to raise awareness of your business. Instead, working with the print media can be a cost-effective way to get editorial publicity for articles that incorporate information about your company. In fact, with the rise of Internet use within the business community and the general public, reaching your target audience is now faster and more convenient than ever.
How then does your business generate good publicity and gain placement in newspapers and magazines? As Guerilla Marketing author Jay Conrad Levinson notes, “The single most important factor in obtaining free publicity [is] providing news worth publicizing.” It is crucial that your business products and services are incorporated into articles that provide readers with newsworthy ideas or suggestions. Highlighting an article’s human interest angle is another method to increase your chances of publication.
It’s important for businesses to distinguish precisely what is and isn’t newsworthy about their products and services. For example, the announcement of a new product is more likely to annoy an editor than grab his or her attention. “Editors and publishers get thinly veiled advertising garbage all the time masquerading as news,” says “Magnet Marketing” author John R. Graham. However, if the product exemplifies a current trend or helps readers to achieve a goal, an editor will be more inclined to publish it.
The key is to move the article’s primary emphasis from the value of the company’s products to the potential benefit for the reader. Articles that reference your business as an ‘expert’ source on a given subject provide powerful credibility. For example, a company that sells a salt substitute should avoid writing an article describing its products in detail. Instead, an article about how a recent study revealed a link between lowered sodium intake and reduced occurrence of osteoporosis has much more value to a publication’s readers.
Developing a newsworthy angle, however, is only half the battle. You must also distribute your releases to the appropriate people, and do it cost-effectively. Businesses often rely upon the traditional marketing technique of mailing materials to lists of prospective clients. However, the process of building lists is labor intensive and very costly.Businesses that want to market their products and services beyond the local level should consider utilizing the Internet as a key component in their publicity efforts. “Even companies hoping to generate publicity at the regional level can benefit from the national – and global – coverage the Internet provides,” notes Fran Yoch, vice president of ARA Content, a Minneapolis-based feature article distribution service via the Internet at www.aracontent.com. “Imagine the benefits of newspaper and magazine editors accessing articles about your company and downloading them for publication with a simple stroke of a computer key.
“ARA Content is part of the growing number of distribution services that take advantage of the Internet’s speed and flexibility in order to serve their clients more effectively. Yoch elaborates, “Clients who want to re-focus an article around a particular holiday, or who want to distribute an ongoing series of articles, appreciate the speed at which we can update and build upon their existing information.”
Attaining publicity through the media is cost-effective because of the extended life the releases have after they are first published. Newspapers, magazines and online publications may re-print the article and expand its reach far beyond initial expectations. Copies of published articles also can be redistributed to new prospects or current customers, giving extra mileage to a company’s publicity efforts.
The value of editorial publicity seems clear. As Graham notes, “To fail to use the press to tell a newsworthy story is to miss one of the best opportunities available to businesses today.”
Courtesy of ARA Content, http://www.ARAcontent.com, e-mail: info@ARAcontent.com.