A well-placed news story can add significant value to our clients’ communications and marketing efforts.
I know because it’s my job to make sure our content development, key messages, and placement of earned media fits into our overall campaign strategy yet delivers significant value on its own merit.
We have some impressive clients doing important work, and it is a vital aspect of their ultimate success to share their stories and track the results, which can be amplified on social media and leveraged in advocacy. Recently we have participated in compelling announcements at the national, regional, and local levels.
The American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) released its 2021 ACSM/Anthem Fitness Index -- #100FitCities -- on July 13 and thus far it has garnered more than 600 media placements. Most importantly, the story has once again stayed in the news, prompting city leaders to learn how to enhance fitness opportunities in their communities.
June was National Migraine and Headache Awareness Month -- #MHAM21 – and we widely distributed an opinion-editorial by Tom Dabertin, executive director of the National Headache Foundation (NHF). We all experience headaches, and those who experience migraine disease (one in every four Americans) are anxious to know how to prevent or curtail symptoms. Tom told us he had friends and colleagues from past and present who reached out after seeing his column.
The New River Gorge Regional Development Authority (NRGRDA) is one of the best examples of the benefits of a consistent communications campaign showcasing the value of an active governmental organization. Executive director Jina Belcher is intentional about informing the public and being fully transparent about how tax dollars are being spent for community and economic development. In recent months NRGRDA has announced a string of news about the nation’s newest national park – New River Gorge National Park and Preserve, an increase in tourism and outdoor recreation, significant grants to support the expansion of the regional airport, and investments by the state’s only certified angel investment network (Country Roads Angel Network).
Mister Bee Potato Chips, a small woman-owned manufacturer of snacks, is growing in employees and production capability. President Mary Anne Ketelsen designed a #SupportOurTroops special chip bag that has led Mister Bee to expand to Giant Food Stores in the District of Columbia-Maryland-Virginia -- #MrBeeinDMV. Sales of the chips in the new bag generated a $100,000 donation from Mister Bee to the USO of Metropolitan Washington-Baltimore in 2020. Our news has focused primarily on the company’s authentic and philanthropic leader, facility improvements, a partnership with a local community college farm where potatoes are being grown to produce “local” chips, and the USO-Metro partnership.
The attributes that lead to success for earned media include:
- Prepared spokespersons who know their business and how it impacts others;
- Visuals to offer the media with each news release or op-ed;
- Clients who are accessible to plan content and strategy, as well as for interviews;
- News releases or op-eds that offer solutions to issues, product development, education, or community programs; and
- Timely, meaningful calls to action that motivate
By adding earned media outreach to an integrated marketing communications campaign, our clients see the following measurable results:
- Radio, TV and print interview requests;
- Increased website visitors who stay longer;
- Multiplied social media engagement on all channels;
- Increased sales and ease in recruiting employees;
- Engagement by key influencers (government, business, non-profit and association leaders)
- Partnership and sponsorship requests;
- Editorial recognition of their efforts.
Mike Fulton is director of public affairs and advocacy at Asher Agency in Washington, D.C. He is a member of the National Press Club, West Virginia Press Association, Public Relations Society of America, and the Advocacy Association, He leads our content development, earned media pitching and story placements from hometown newspapers, news radio, TV, trade publications, as well as national outlets like USA Today and the New York Times.