5 Ways to Get the Most Out of Your Media Coverage

Towanda Long

Congratulations. Your company has been featured in the media. What you do next will determine whether that coverage has the power of one hit or it is amplified for maximum impact. Using the five tips below, you can create a strategic plan that benefits your company for years.
These tips work for both traditional and nontraditional avenues, including TV, print, radio and social media. They also apply to various types of coverage, from promoting a new product or service, to showcasing an employee or highlighting support of nonprofit organizations. Case studies also do well for media, especially trade outlets.  

Before we go into the tips, it’s important to talk about your marketing filter. The filter is simply questions to help you decide what you want to accomplish. The answers dictate which of the tips you should apply. Here are mine, and feel free to add your own.

Do you want to increase awareness of the company? Attract customers? Increase sales prospects? Does it help others view your company or employees as industry leaders or experts? 

Once you have your answers, you’re ready to create a plan.

Here’s an example. AFS Corporate Member Charlotte Pipe partners with a local organization that provides work for adults with disabilities, and the area newspaper did a feature on the partnership. Charlotte Pipe ran the coverage through its marketing filter and decided they wanted to increase awareness of a great program. Highlighting UDI, the organization it was working with, was first and foremost. Charlotte Pipe also knew this type of news builds morale for its associates. 

The marketing team decided to share the story on Facebook because it answered both needs. The story was also flagged to run in the company’s associate magazine.

Sharing the story of what one plant was doing to help adults with disabilities in the Charlotte Pipe employee magazine is a perfect example of the first tip: tell your employees.

Your employees have an inherent interest in the company, and keeping them informed is a great way to maintain good communication and increase morale. Plus, they can be your biggest advocates. Employees are often proud to share the news on their personal social media accounts, which further amplifies the message. This step can also include other stakeholders, like key clients, outside vendors, and family members.

The second tip is to share on social media. In the example here, the company chose Facebook. Depending on the news and your goals, you may choose one or more social media sites. As you’re choosing outlets, keep in mind that each has its own tone.

For instance, Facebook works well with images and text, and you can link to a story directly from the post. Instagram is more image-driven and links cannot be included in individual posts. If you want to share on Instagram, use concise text and an eye-catching image. LinkedIn is a great outlet for engagement with your audience. On LinkedIn, the image is not as important. Quality content is crucial. People are more apt to leave a comment on LinkedIn posts. 

Here is another real-world example from this spring. At the height of COVID-19 and quarantining, there was a run on workout equipment, which led to an article in GQ examining the difficulty of finding kettlebells, “Inside the Great Kettlebell Shortage of 2020,” by Alex Shultz.

In his story, Shultz highlighted two foundries. Here are ways this news article could have been amplified. 

Let’s start with the filter: Do you want the awareness? Probably, as the article highlighted the importance of domestic manufacturing. Do you want to increase sales? Possibly, but it may depend on the capacity you have. Can this help the company be seen as an industry leader or expert? In the kettlebell article, one foundry talked about domestic versus imported casting and the impact it has on industry; this is great content to amplify. 

With the filter applied, you can move forward with these goals: increase awareness and help your foundry be viewed as an industry leader. Now let’s apply the tips.

First, tell your employees. This can be done several ways. Start with the ways you share information now. Do you usually send an email? Distribute a newsletter? Post on bulletin boards? If you rely on boards, pull a screen shot and print it poster size. Or print out the entire article and put copies in the lunchroom. There are a number of ways to let your employees know it happened, get them excited about it and let them know it will be on social media if they want to share it themselves.
Next, share the story on social media. In this case, GQ is a household name and will garner a lot of interest. Remember to tweak your post to best fit each social media outlet. 

Here is the third tip: Share with other media outlets. Even though the original article ran in GQ magazine, it can still be shared with other media outlets. For example, the kettlebell piece was posted on the AFS website and also reported in Modern Casting and Casting Source magazine. Although originally published in GQ, it was amplified in trade publications. Stories can also be shared with the local media, including radio, print and TV. 

This leads to tip four. Add to your marketing collateral and website. A link to the article can be added to your website and in your regular marketing collateral. A news section or blog on your website is an excellent way to do this. You can also put the link in email signatures. Then, depending on your goals, ordering reprints of the article may be useful for information or sales packets. Case studies are prime opportunities for reprints.  

Finally, you can add legs to a good news story by expanding with an update. The foundries covered by GQ now have a relationship there. Is there a new angle that the media outlet would be interested in featuring?  Did you begin casting kettlebells? Did you pick up any other exercise-related equipment? If your foundry began casting kettlebells, you could share how the shortage situation led to a pickup in domestic casting. You could use the angle of exported/imported castings and the way domestic casters have stepped in. The topic would fit not just GQ, but other general news outlets.

Another way to expand coverage is by creating a video or advertising based on the news. It can be integrated into an ad campaign that includes trade publications, online promotions, and a social media boost. TV appearances can be adapted into a written piece or vice versa. The most important thing is to ensure you are showcasing your company as a thought leader and producer of quality products.

In summary, here are the five tips:

  1. Tell your employees.
  2. Share on social media.
  3. Share with other media outlets.
  4. Add to website and marketing collateral.
  5. Expand with an update.

Applying the marketing filter and remembering these tips will help you create a strategic plan that amplifies your next media coverage to its maximum potential.

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