How to Get More Mileage Out of Your Media Coverage

Maybe it played for Kevin Costner in "Field of Dreams," but that paraphrased line ? "Print it and they will come" ? doesn't necessarily work in real life.

There's a lot to be said for the value of editorial side coverage, but you can't count on people acting on what they read or even remembering it for long. The smarter bet is to find ways to leverage your coverage to enhance the odds of driving more prospects in. Here are some fairly easy ways to do it:

First, create a short synopsis of the article (making sure your part of it is front and center), including the headline, publication and publication date. Tease to the "hit" or placement on your home page and link it to the synopsis, which you should post to the Press section (or some informational equivalent) of your site.

If you're among the many who are comfortable with e-mail marketing and are fairly nimble, you can devise a simple informational mailing that shares news of coverage and provides a link to the article on the publication's website, if it's available. Many publications allow public access to their content for a limited amount of time, so do this before that time expires.

Otherwise, you need to check out the availability of reprint rights and PDFs, well worth it for articles where you're quoted expansively or that you've authored. For a price, you can secure a PDF (hard copies are usually extra) and guidelines for usage. Don't make your own photocopies or PDFs because you risk violating the publication's copyright.

Here's how to use the PDF: o Create a link to the PDF from the synopsis of the article you've posted on your website. That way people will know they can access the complete piece. o Whether you have formal or informal outreach efforts to clients, customers and friends, incorporate a brief, FYI-type summary of the article and attach the PDF, if it's an e-communique. And don't forget to encourage the recipients to forward the piece to people they know who might find it of interest. o If you use snail mail outreach, things are a little dicier. If you've gotten a printable PDF and the mailing is fairly small, you may be safe printing and making copies to include as part of the mailing. Check the terms of your reprint permission. The problem is that PDFs are made to look good on the computer screen, but printouts don't reproduce as well. o Make sure anyone in your organization who is involved in business development is equipped with the PDF, and encouraged to include it as an informational attachment when promoting the business to prospects and friends.

If it's printed, they may come. If you promote what's been printed, the odds go up exponentially!

Sally Saville Hodge is president of Hodge Communications, Inc., specializing in strategic public relations and marketing communications for businesses, entrepreneurs and professional associations. Formerly an award-winning financial journalist, she brings over 30 years experience to client engagements. Subscribe today to [email protected]! our free bimonthly e-newsletter and get a free special report: "Using Buzz To Create a Groundswell For Your Business." Visit http://www.hodgecommunications.com

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