How to leverage content into media opportunities
November 10, 2017 • 4 minute read
Developing valuable, proprietary content remains one of the most effective ways to establish credibility and gain exposure to clients, prospects and industry peers. It’s paramount that your firm’s content projects – industry reports, white papers or webinars, even bylined articles – speak directly to target audiences and provide them with useful information. However, a key audience often overlooked is the press.
Leveraging content projects into media opportunities will maximize their value and further expose your law firm to important audiences. So, when developing a content project, keep these tips in mind:
- Do Your Research
Before beginning a content project, research what related information has already been produced by industry peers and where there is room for you to contribute to the discourse. As part of this process, consider asking journalists what information they would find valuable for their reporting. We don’t suggest cold calling newsrooms, but rather reconnecting with reporters with whom you’ve previously spoken or introducing yourself to a reporter embedded in your industry. Not only will this exchange increase your chance of securing coverage down the line, but it may also provide additional insight into what’s of value to your target audiences. The research phase is also the time to consider partnering with a third party. Co-sponsored content is a great amplifier, and a partner may have more research capacity than you do. Not only that, but two distribution networks are better than one.
- Segment Your Content
Your content might have an obvious news hook, but don’t forget to look beyond the main storyline. Drill down into your content for different angles and ideas that could be of interest to audiences who might not immediately understand how the information applies to their industries. An energy report will certainly be of interest to journalists on the energy beat, but may also include valuable content for reporters covering M&A, private equity and other areas.
- Provide Regular Content
A one-off project might generate coverage, but providing a regular source of valuable information can allow your content project to take on a life of its own. For example, you may find reporters coming to you for information, anticipating future reports. While you don’t want to flood the market with noise, a regularly occurring source of useful information will help further credential your brand. Annual special reports on a subject with year-over-year data can become more valuable over time.
- Make it Timely
Whenever possible, connect your content to breaking news and larger trends. Not only does it make your content timely and relevant, but it shows reporters that you are connected to what is going on in the world and thinking about what information is valuable to them. Spelling out the news hook will increase your chance of securing coverage.
- Provide Additional Commentary
Content projects require a significant amount of time and research, and no one will understand the ins and outs of the material as well as its creators. The most valuable content contains both data and analytics. Numbers are great, but explaining what they mean to specific audiences is the real value. Consider asking publications if they would be interested in a byline article on the key take-aways of the report. Think back to the second tip: are there opportunities to target different trade publications with industry-specific findings? Double dip on the thought leadership by showcasing both the content itself, and your thorough understanding of its meaning, which may vary among your target audiences.
- Spread the Wealth
To maximize your business’ media exposure, offer to make introductions to the minds behind the content. Highlighting other contributors can lead to additional media opportunities down the line. Consider whether it makes sense to attach different spokespeople to different topics addressed in the content. Make sure to take advantage of all appropriate distribution streams and that the content produced fits the distribution channel. For example, you may want to develop “snackable” takeaways to share via social media, while including a deep dive report on your website.
- Consider Offering an Exclusive
If you have identified one publication as the key target for reporting on your content, consider offering that outlet an exclusive, meaning a promise not to give the content to other reporters before the target journalist has published his or her story. Giving a journalist a leg up can help entice him or her to write a story, and that initial report can set off a wave of coverage. Just keep in mind that giving one publication an exclusive may also deter competitor publications from working on coverage of their own.
Jesse Dungan is Associate Vice President and Brian Van Note is Senior Account Executive. They are based in San Francisco.