Like many young women, I spent my twenties longing to hear those three special words. No … not those words. These words: “Above the Fold.” In the past, getting a story placed in a major newspaper in that coveted position was a huge accomplishment. Add a color photo and a positive quote from a third party about your client and you were #blessed.
Although we still love — and beautifully frame — a good front-page story that we place, today’s public relations professionals have an incredible number of ways to tell our clients’ stories and connect with consumers.
No longer are we confined to simply handling the earned media part of a client’s account. The lines between paid, earned, owned and shared media are fluid. And that makes perfect sense, because nobody consumes media or brand messages in neat categorized boxes like they are items divided in a tinfoil TV dinner tray circa 1974. Consumers pull information from a variety of sources seamlessly as they move through their day. And our messages should be part of that.
With so many options, what used to be a one-off media hit can be magnified to reach more people via more channels in a more relevant way.
Let’s take a hypothetical company — Dr. Pete’s Doggy Daycare — through this media relations magnification process and see how it works. Pete is a veterinarian who owns a business that caters to all aspects of a dog’s life, from traditional vet services to grooming and boarding to training and supplies.
January is National Walk Your Dog Month (for real, it actually is). Dr. Pete is scheduled to appear on a local morning show. In the past, this TV appearance would have been a nice but one-off media hit. Let’s compare that with what we could do with it today.
Before Dr. Pete is set to appear on the morning show, we draft a quiz called “Does Your Dog Need Obedience Training?” and post it on his blog. During the TV segment, Dr. Pete discusses the Do’s and Don’ts of Dog Walking (leash laws, the best collars and obedience training). We give the TV producer the link to the quiz so they can drive traffic from the station website. (Links to your web from news outlets have added Google juice.)
Dr. Pete also has a weekly e-newsletter he sends out to his clients and prospects. He adds a sign-up message after the quiz blog post so new visitors can sign up with ease. He also promotes the TV segment on social media before and after his appearance.
After the segment airs, we post a video of it on his blog so people who might have missed it can still gain the knowledge and, in turn, see Dr. Pete as a thought leader.
We post alerts letting Facebook fans and Twitter followers know about the appearance. We tag the station, the anchors and include relevant hashtags. During the segment, we post photos of Dr. Pete on set with the anchors. And after the segment, we post the TV station’s link.
While we’re at the station, we find out that the meteorologist has a dog and we ask her about her favorite place to walk him. We post on our social media channels (tagging her with her permission) that Sue Storm loves to walk her dog, Paco, in Meadow Park. We ask our followers where they walk their dogs.
If we secure a regular segment on the TV station for Dr. Pete, we can use social media to gather frequently asked dog questions from the audience or promote TweetChats that expand on that month’s topic.
Through paid media we can boost our social media posts or buy digital ads to promote our online quiz. It might also be a great time to launch an ad campaign about Dr. Pete’s obedience training with references to the online quiz since that will be top of mind.
Along with our TV segment, we can pitch our online quiz and National Dog Walking Month story to a leading dog lovers’ blog and reference the TV segment. We might have also placed a dog walking story in a local magazine for that same month and reference it during our TV segment. Of course, we would post the article to our website which would then be posted to our social media channels with tags to the TV station, all of which would complement our paid media. All the different outlets complement each other and magnify the overall message.
So remember: Magnify the Message.
If you’re interested in learning more about how to magnify your message and want to learn more about how public relations can assist your company, contact Thoma Thoma to see what opportunities we can help you achieve.