How To Harness The Power of Digital Print Coverage

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On occasion I still work with clients who need a little convincing – OK, in some instances a lot of convincing – about the strong PR value of articles that appear online, as opposed to appearing in traditional print.

And just as I’m puzzling over how to explain it one more time, along comes a situation that makes my case for me.

Here’s what happened: Essence Magazine just wrote a flattering piece about a product we submitted on behalf of a client. And, they were as overjoyed as we were at this valuable exposure.

While the positive coverage was an excellent “hit” for the client on its own merits, the online exposure from the magazines’ own social media promotion added a multiplier effect. The product enjoyed an extraordinary boost by being disseminated to the magazine’s hundreds of thousands of followers.

Essence directed their readers right to the article about the product through Twitter – and not just once, but multiple times over several days. You know, just in case they happened to miss it the first time. Or the second time. Or the third time. Or…

This editorial coverage cultivates brand equity that money can’t buy.

While traditional print has many of its own virtues, it’s hard to argue with the extra advantages that come with digital print. For one thing, it has staying power. It’s not unusual on the Internet to come across still-relevant articles that are one year, five years or 10 years old.

And, of course, one of the greatest benefits is the ease with which an article can be shared, just the way Essence shared the article about our client’s product.

That’s why I can’t stress too much the importance of those online placements. So let’s assume for a moment you or your company just landed a mention in the online version of a print publication. What can you do to make the most of the opportunity?

For answers to that, I turned to Jay York and Brittany Vaill, two of our social media strategists. This is what they had to say:

  • Don’t miss the posting. You can’t get the maximum use of your print appearance if you’re unaware it’s even been posted on the publication’s website and shared through social media. There are a few options for tracking this so you don’t miss it when the article appears online. A simple Internet search might turn up something, but you also can use Google Alerts, which will email you anytime something about you or your company appears on the Internet. Also, check your social media regularly because the publication might have tagged you when it shared the article.
  • Interact on social media. You’ll want to be part of any social media conversation that gets started as a result of the article being shared. If the publication tweeted a link to the article, then respond to the tweet and re-tweet it. Or if it’s a Facebook post, share it on your Facebook page. Also, be sure to reply to people commenting on the thread, thanking them for compliments and answering questions.
  • Website links and blog links. Be sure to link to the article on your website and also on your blog. After all, you want to get all the mileage out of it you can. Jay suggests this additional tip: You can create a blog post and embed the tweet within it. Then use that blog as a reference for an email that you send to your client base. One of your goals should be to direct as much traffic to the article as possible. That’s because the more people who read it, the more it climbs in terms of search rankings. And that means yet even more people might come across it.
  • Revisit the great moment a few weeks from now. When the initial hubbub about the article dies down, you can re-ignite it a month or so later. You’ve probably seen your friends make use of “Throwback Thursday” to post their high school photos or the baby picture of a child who’s now 21. You can do the same with the article, linking to it all over again, perhaps with a quick comment such as, “I still can’t believe all the positive responses I’ve gotten over the last month because of this.”

Remember, editorial coverage in traditional publications is extremely powerful in its own right. But the viral potential of digital press is gargantuan thanks to the unapologetically social nature of social media.

All because people like to share.


P.S. If you want help landing print coverage and leveraging that coverage with the aid of professional social media public relations, give us a call at 727-443-7115 ext. 215 or click here to get your Free Media Analysis.


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