12 Tips for Getting More Coverage for Your Media Hit
A favorable media placement is invaluable in establishing your credibility as an expert and developing your unique voice and perspective as a thought leader, especially if you are new to your field. The media landscape and news are more crowded than ever, so don't miss out on extending the reach of your piece, well beyond its initial publication, by putting the following tips into practice.
1. Build your dissemination list
Before your piece comes out, take a few minutes to put together an email dissemination list of colleagues, listservs, allies, congressional staff, local officials, friends, and other relevant influencers who would be likely to share your piece with their networks. Include a link to your piece with a call to amplify.
Do the same for others. It helps establish you as someone who generously retweets and amplifies others’ content to build a mutually supportive network that actively promotes one another’s work.
2. Share your piece across your social channels
This increases the chance that your audiences will see the article. However, it helps to understand the different protocols for each and to develop your content accordingly. Consider using hashtags to extend your reach to people outside of your usual audience to those searching for a topic related to your piece. Here are a few examples:
While only around one-in-five US adults use Twitter, it is the place for journalists, policymakers, celebrities, and experts to discuss the news, making it essential to releasing an op-ed.
Twitter lends itself to developing multiple tweets, or a “Twitter thread," highlighting your main argument, showcasing that zinger you included, or explaining why it matters. You only have 240 characters per tweet, so brevity is key.
If you were interviewed for an article, make sure to retweet the journalist's tweet and tag them when you write your own.
Don't feel limited to just one tweet. Think through at least 3-4 different takeaways you want to highlight and post them throughout the week.
If a link doesn't populate into an article photo, don't fret. Instead, screenshot a compelling paragraph, highlight your quote, or use a relevant GIF.
Another great way to get your story out there is to Direct Message (DM) journalists with whom you already have a relationship. Most are happy to retweet it, especially if the piece is relevant to their followers.
On Facebook, a single post will suffice. However, look for opportunities to garner more attention. For example, if the piece is subsequently published on the outlet or reporter’s Page, like and leave a comment or thank you, using your company’s Page.
For a higher share rate, some experts advise that instead of clicking the "share" button from the reporter or outlet's original post, opt to create a new post, linking to the story and tagging the media outlet's Page. Depending on the outlet, your piece may get an additional boost due to Facebook and Google's recent (Sept 2019) changes in their algorithm ranking original reporting—news originating from a publication and not aggregated from another outlet—higher in its search results.
Update your LinkedIn profile with a link to your new coverage and make sure that you include links on your organization’s company page. LinkedIn also relies heavily on hashtags, so don’t forget to tag the relevant topics.
If the piece you have gotten published establishes your expertise or unique angle on a topic and you are willing to be in the hot seat to defend it, you can reach a wider audience by doing an Ask Me Anything (AMA) on Reddit. To find out more, read these 5 Things You Need to Know Before Hosting a Reddit AMA. Once you have scheduled your AMA, promote it using organic posts on Facebook and Twitter and email your friends and colleagues, letting them now.
Instagram is one of the most popular social media platforms for sharing, but remember that it is a visual-first platform. Screenshot a favorite paragraph in your op-ed, use arrow gifs to draw attention to a quote you gave The Washington Post, or create a compelling graphic of a relevant stat in Canva. Just remember that clean and straightforward content reigns supreme on Instagram.
To drive people to your piece, put the link in your Instagram bio and alert people by including "Link in bio" when you post your story.
You could also do a series of Instagram Stories to talk about key parts of your piece. While these technically disappear after 24 hours, you can archive them as one of the “highlights” on your Instagram account so people can find them later. (Here are some Canva templates for your Stories.)
3. tag and thank the journalist and outlet who covered your story
Even before the piece is published, thank them for the interview.
If you know the date and time of publication, encourage your followers to look for it. Once it is live, comment on it and thank the journalist for doing the piece.
Engage with them on social media to further build the relationship. Many journalists are expected to build their reach in social media. Promoting your coverage helps the journalist and the media outlet as well.
4. Monitor your post and hits on social media
Monitor your post and hits on social media, address comments, follow those who like or comment on your piece, if they seem like a good connection.
If you haven't already, set up a saved Google Alert for your name so that you don't miss any following mentions or related coverage linked to your piece that you can respond to or amplify.
5. Make it evergreen
Do not count your piece as a one-and-done. Link to your piece every time a relevant article comes out (yours, a reporter’s, a colleague’s) with a tweet that makes it current and relevant to the conversation.
Create a blog post that builds on your argument and links to your and other people's pieces.
If there is breaking news relevant to something you've written or been interviewed on, quickly comment on the breaking story with a relevant angle; linking to your earlier piece increases your odds of being contacted by a reporter looking for an expert.
6. Use it to pitch another story
Use your piece to pitch yourself to a public affairs radio show or to reach out to another reporter or outlet. For example, “In my recent piece in ___ outlet, I take this angle, however, the part of this story that wasn’t covered that your readers would be interested in is…”
7. Use it to build relationships with reporters
Share or Direct Message (DM) friendly reporters who have covered your work in the past or with whom you are actively engaged. Share your piece with the leading reporters in your beat who have not covered you, with an individualized message on how it is relevant to their coverage and readers.
8. Update your Expert Collateral
Update all of your expert collateral with a link to your major earned media mentions. Include a link to your piece in your bio on your website, LinkedIn profile, and any promotional material you use to describe your expertise, such as upcoming panels.
9. Update your email signature
Update your email signature to include the headline and link to your latest published piece.
10. Use syndication as a tactic
There are many benefits of syndication (both paid and unpaid). It allows you to drive more traffic to your piece, establish yourself as an expert and go-to source, reach a different audience, and improve Search Engine Optimization (SEO)—all at virtually no cost, except the time it takes you to repurpose your piece for a new site.
Remember, the most challenging part was pitching and getting it published in the first place, so get as much traction and return on the investment as possible. A few of the top syndication services and sites include Medium, Quora, Reddit, and LinkedIn. Still, do your homework on which is the best to promote your content. There are also paid services such as Outbrain and Taboola. Read more on How to Syndicate Content.
11. Launch a paid social media effort
This is a highly affordable way to reach a targeted audience. Put your dollars behind it and boost it on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn to reach new and related audiences. With a paid post, you choose the age, geographic location, and personal interests or affiliations of your audience to ensure that you reach the right people.
12. Use your media hit to raise more money for your organization
Beyond using your media hit to garner more coverage, leverage it to raise more money for your organization and your communications work.
Immediately after your piece is published, share it individually with your funders, donors, and board members with a link and a highlight of your quote or a brief description of the importance of the piece. Include it in all of your funder newsletters, donor appeals, and grant reports. And ask each person you share it with to send it to their professional networks and friends.