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Consistency of message, as well as the effort you put into it over time, is key.
August 28, 2015
In the world of business, having the know-how to creatively optimize and take full advantage of resources can be the dividing factor between a company that is extremely successful and one that’s struggling to make it--or as Tony Robbins eloquently says, “It’s not the lack of resources, it’s your lack of resourcefulness that stops you.” Integrating communications and public relations strategies--whether traditional, social, trade or personal branding PR--is no different.
When it comes to gaining the most return on your investment in this area of business and brand development, producing strategic, creative messaging and stories (the kind that inspire your customers), as well as generating feeling-inducing visuals, is key. Combine this with solid PR execution and top-notch media relationships, and you’ll begin gaining media exposure--a must for almost any business out there.
In addition to being a less expensive way to organically engage people than paid advertising, it’s also shown to be significantly more successful. Nielsen’s research on global trust in advertising and brand messages shows that 92 percent of people trust earned media, such as articles in newspapers and magazines. It also prompts the highest level of word-of-mouth action (between 70 and 84 percent). And with 84 percent of consumers around the world saying they trust word-of-mouth from friends and family above all other sources of advertising, it’s hard to argue the potential of earned media placements.
While the process of landing a media hit is easier said than done (and almost always takes more time than you might expect), seeing your company and/or product highlighted in an influential media channel or article is a very exciting and rewarding moment. It’s also where most companies end their efforts, lean back, and passively wait for the sales to role in. I am sorry to say, however, this is not how it works.
Consistency of message, as well as the efforts you put into it over time, is key, and the following tips and tactics can help you achieve full-circle success. Keep in mind that every business is different, and what works for others might not be the best course of action for you, so take what applies to you, make it your own and leave the rest.
Social media platforms are a great way to create engagement, brand value and interest, and to drive word-of-mouth.
Facebook: Ensure your media content is delivered with engaging consumer messages and images that tie back to your brand, and always “tag” the media source’s Facebook page. This not only helps to build your relationship with that particular outlet/reporter (we are going for long-term, win-win relationships here!) but also increases your chances of winning over some of their followers.
Twitter: Like Facebook, it’s important to tag the journalist, blogger, editor and/or outlet who wrote the piece. This is a fabulous way to say thank you and give them some love, as well as help secure a potential shout out, which will help you reach more of their readers and social following.
Instagram: Always ensure media coverage content is shared with an engaging visual. And if the media coverage is from a particularly notable media source, don’t be afraid to show off the endorsement of your company by inserting the outlet’s logo. For example, our team recently secured coverage for our client, Munk Pack, on Oprah.com – O, The Oprah Magazine’s online edition. This is a big win for any sized company, especially a smaller start-up business like this one, making it the perfect opportunity to create an interesting visual of the endorsement that displays the product’s validity.
LinkedIn: Sharing relevant articles, both consumer and trade focused, can help build your online leadership position. LinkedIn is more business-related than consumer-related, so consider all of your LinkedIn activities an opportunity to attract talent, business partners, investors, strategic partners and so forth. For example, when your company is endorsed by Oprah.com, do you think your cache just went up and that you’ll be seen as a much more legit player? You bet ya. Better talent. Better opportunities.
Pinterest: Create a pin board dedicated to key media mentions of your company. Check out how we at Refresh Agency utilize our boards for ideas on how to support your own company’s vision.
Create a FlipIt book (digital) with all of your key media coverage, and then position it to woo key buyers, sales partners, new sales reps and large desired retail partners. If large-scale media outlets cover you, you are probably worth their time and energy, and perhaps even shelf space. Make sure you build your brand up, share your successes and provide examples of highly regarded journalists/editors who have covered your product. You’ll be so much more attractive to the kind of people who you want in on your team to help build your business.
Be it employees, business partnerships or investors, good media coverage is impressive and attracts interest. People want to be part of something “cool,” and coverage with outstanding media will increase your brand’s coolness factor. It will also up your desirability. Like I said above, if your brand is worth covering in media, you are worth betting on (be it production times in a production facility, shelf space at retail, drawing in inspired employees and more).
Share key media coverage and other inspiring/interesting company news through your company newsletter. Newsletters are still a very strong way to build buzz and brand awareness, as well as strengthen your brand.
Share your best media features upfront on your website. Be sure to include recognizable media logos and the link to the article, as this not only ups your company’s credibility right off the bat but can also be a great way to build your brand cache.
Increase your brand’s desirability with important buyers, sales personnel, distribution partners and more by presenting key media coverage through a slide that highlights four to 10 of your most desirable media placements. This can be achieved by sharing the media outlet logos--if the media is widely known--or sharing visuals of the media impressions themselves. You can also share the best quote about your product from the media article by bolding it and making it stand out.
Some retailers welcome materials that help sell your product at the store level, including shelf-talkers, point of purchase displays, stand-alone displays and end caps. This can be an excellent way to build your brand and stand out from the rest of the competition. Explore with your retail partners what they consider good opportunities.
Adding in desirable media logos/decals or quotes from key media exposure (ex: "As seen in…") on your sell sheets will help your brand pop and get you noticed.
Consumer events that your brand participates in, such as marathons, yoga conferences, community clean ups and farmers markets, are great opportunities to share notable media features and can help sway new consumers toward you, as endorsements like this will build value and make consumers more open to a new brand.
Share key media exposure with the personnel in the stores selling your product. The person on the floor is not the little guy to overlook; rather he’s your direct-to-consumer contact. Develop these relationships. The more the people on the sales floor know of and love your brand, the more they will be cheering you on and doing their best to support your brand.
Take the time to write a nice comment on any blog post covering your company, as this is an excellent opportunity for you to further your PR exposure. It can be as simple as a "Thank you for writing about us!" to a more in-depth response commenting on an aspect of the article topic itself. Read the article and develop a targeted response that will open up further dialogue with the blogger or journalist and further build a connection with that media channel. Come across thankful, grateful, intelligent and with an expert voice.
How do you make the most of your media mentions?
Founder and CEO, Refresh Agency
Sandja Brügmann is a sustainable communication expert, business and leadership advisor, international speaker, author and named one of the "world's leadership gurus" by Danish Executive Leadership Association. Founder and Managing Partner The Passion Institute, where she and team serve the global business community to create strong brands and extraordinary leaders with an ambition and focus on intelligent business drivers, sustainability and social-good change for the past 15 years.
Sandja advocates for systemic solution thinking and being to drive business to be part of the solution, investing in leadership and organizational consciousness, and a shift where success is measured far beyond financial profit. Her business portfolio includes respected companies like LEGO, Sustainable Brands, Crocs, Spier, ITO EN, Promote Iceland, The Body Shop, F5, DIS, Global Fund for Women, Drive Business and University of Colorado Boulder.
She’s an invited guest lecturer at international academic programs, on the board of directors ‘brain trust’ of Leading Humans, the Director of F5 *Inspiring Women* business network for top performing Danish Women Executives. She is part of a team launching the first Inclusive Leadership program in Denmark, co-funded by the Danish Innovation Fund and Living Institute, experts in diversity intelligence. She teaches *Women & Leadership* at DIS – accredited US university partner in Scandinavia to Harvard, UC Berkeley etc.
A regularly featured expert in leading international business and sustainable lifestyle media including Inc Magazine, Business Insider, Huffington Post, CBS, Lederne, CSR Magasinet. Finans, Børsen and spoken at leading conferences Sustainable Brands, Natural products Expo, Drive Business, Global Entrepreneurship Week and Women’s Leadership Summit.
Connect with her on LinkedIn.
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