Greg Walthour

CO-CEO, Intero Digital

Greg Walthour, CO-CEO of Intero Digital, is a pioneer to the digital marketing space. He began his career as a commercial real estate broker and in 1996 took on the challenge of getting this website to rank higher in search engines. Greg has over 20 years of experience in digital marketing and enjoys camping, ATVing, traveling, and coaching football. Greg also has a passion for photography.

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5 Tips for Acquiring Press Mentions

5 Tips for Acquiring Press Mentions: How To Get Press Coverage

5 Tips for Acquiring Press Mentions: How To Get Press Coverage

Greg Walthour, CO-CEO • Intero Digital • June 25, 2021

5 Tips for Acquiring Press Mentions

A few of the top goals B2B marketers work to achieve with content marketing are brand awareness, credibility, trust-building, and audience education. In other words, they’re looking to become thought leaders.

Why?

Because thought leadership can help companies reach their target audience and generate more sales. After all, over half of business decision makers spend more than an hour each week consuming thought leadership content. Plus, 47% of buyers say that thought leadership content led them to find and purchase from a company that wasn’t a famous brand in the space.

So how can companies start building thought leadership through an earned media strategy? One method is securing press mentions.

What Are Press Mentions?

As you may have predicted, press mentions are mentions of you or your company in the press. But what does a press mention look like?

  • A quote of yours is incorporated in an article.
  • A mention of your company is used as an example in a piece.
  • An interview with you is published as an article or uploaded as a podcast or video.
  • A featured article highlights an offering you’ve created or even profiles your business and background.

Whatever form it takes, a press mention is an endorsement of you or your company that provides value to that specific publication’s market. Let’s look at an example.

“How Ukrainian Company Respeecher Hid the Age of Mark Hamill’s Voice for ‘The Mandalorian’ and ‘Boba Fett’” is a press mention that we secured with one of our clients, Respeecher. While gaining a feature like this can be pretty tricky, this specific PR pitch had a few captivating elements that piqued the publication editor’s interest:

  • The new episodes of “The Mandalorian” and “Boba Fett” were being released during that time.
  • The company was answering an original tech question that this publication’s readers would be interested in learning: How did they create a much younger character’s voice several decades later?
  • The ethics angle of the company’s niche made the publication more comfortable talking through what has been or could have been a very controversial software program.
  • The client was able to offer an exclusive demo to a select VIP list. Allowing them to see the tech firsthand helped push this opportunity forward.

The Benefits of PR Mentions

When building a content marketing strategy to kickstart your thought leadership journey, companies should pursue mentions of their brand in the press, as they provide some crucial benefits:

  • Third-party credibility: Being cited as a source in an article posted by a reputable publication will boost your company’s credibility in ways you can’t even dare to imagine when you rely only on owned media and guest-contributed articles you’ve produced yourself. This is especially helpful at the stage when you’re trying to attract investors or start a new business.
  • Awareness: While you can’t simply promote your products and services in all of your interview answers, being mentioned in the press and sharing your thoughts allows you to bring attention to your company. It can also pique the attention of new audiences you wouldn’t usually have access to.
  • Relevance: When you’re invited to a speaking engagement on issues and trends in your space, you can add your perspective to the more significant industry issue. This can convince your audience that you’re a pioneering pundit who is well aware of current developments and is spurring the industry into the future. You can also use PR pitching to dip your toe into new and trending topics without dedicating entire content assets to them.
  • SEO: If a mention of you or your brand is published in an article, there’s a chance the publication will include a link that leads back to your company site or a piece of content you’ve created. These backlinks can improve your website’s authority and, therefore, your ranking in search results.
  • Relationship-building: Going after press mentions can make the publication more familiar with your work and insights, allowing you to build a strong relationship that could eventually lead to potential guest posts or other opportunities, such as speaking appearances, appearing on an episode of a podcast, being a source for a story, etc.

How to Get Press Coverage for Your Business

Businesses can only realize the benefits mentioned above if they are featured in publications. So how can you get that desired media coverage for your brand?

1. Focus your thought leadership strategy on owned media and guest posts first.
Journalists, contributors, and editors can’t feature you in their content if they’ve never heard of you and don’t have reason to believe you’re an expert.

Publish blog posts, guest posts, whitepapers, industry reports, proprietary research, and more to showcase your expertise and build your thought leadership in your space. This way, when you reach out to publications offering to share your knowledge, they will be able to tell that you are, in fact, the expert you claim to be.

2. Have a distinct point of view.
When you reach out to publications to secure mentions in the press, you can’t just regurgitate the same message that’s already out there. You have to have a distinct point of view from your unique vantage point in the industry. If you’re riding the waves of what everyone else in your field is saying, there’s no reason for a media contact to be interested in your thoughts over anyone else’s.

So when you’re pitching your expertise, align your thought leadership with your goals and opinions, and make sure it’s something the media contact hasn’t heard before. Find what makes your point of view different from your colleagues’ and make that the foundation of your pitch.

3. Be in “story mode,” not “sales mode.”
Sometimes, thought leaders focus more on sales when they need to be in “story mode.” Let me explain.

Companies often need to understand the value add of their offerings or what angles might be engaging to publications and their readers. This can lead thought leaders to center their PR coverage on the messaging that usually works for them in their sales strategies rather than hone the message that will attract an editor’s interest in featuring the company in their publication.

For example, the CMO of a company that offers security systems might think, “I need to convince people of the quality of these systems.” While that might be pretty doable for the company’s website and sales collateral, that’s not true for press mentions. Journalists or editors will probably be more interested in applying this leader’s knowledge in specific ways. Some examples of these topics are how school administrators could use security systems in schools, how communities can better combine security systems and law enforcement resources, how retail entrepreneurs can use technology in stores to prevent theft, etc.

4. Consider the seven news values.
When pitching yourself or your company for press coverage, you must consider what publications are looking for in their reporting. Going through the seven news values can help with this.

  • Impact: Did a change in the industry occur that will “make waves”?
  • Timeliness: Is there a new law that’s set to go into effect in your space?
  • Prominence: Are there any famous or notable individual relationships or projects?
  • Proximity: Is there an angle that’d be compelling to a specific locality?
  • Novelty: Do you have a unique, bizarre, or exciting story?
  • Conflict: Do you have a strong point of view on an issue that’s yet to be resolved?
  • Relevance: Do you have something distinctive to add to the current industry conversation?

5. Write an attention-grabbing pitch.
If you pitch your knowledge and experience to publications, you must ensure your email won’t get stuck in editors’ inboxes. Aside from the sheer number of emails you have to compete with, it isn’t easy to get people to open an email. The average email open rate in the publication and media industry is only 22%. So heed the advice in this blog post to write a memorable pitch email, and update your email subject lines by utilizing a tool such as CoSchedule.

Press mentions are among the best ways to build thought leadership in your industry and grow your business. So what are you waiting for? Try these tips to take your content marketing and digital PR strategy to the next level.

Greg Walthour

CO-CEO, Intero Digital

Greg Walthour, CO-CEO of Intero Digital, is a pioneer to the digital marketing space. He began his career as a commercial real estate broker and in 1996 took on the challenge of getting this website to rank higher in search engines. Greg has over 20 years of experience in digital marketing and enjoys camping, ATVing, traveling, and coaching football. Greg also has a passion for photography.

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