Establishing a Solid Base of Organic Media Exposure to Secure Top-Tier Coverage
For most companies, attracting top-tier media coverage is a key priority of their strategic communications goals. As a strategic communications and public relations firm collaborating with health and science brands, we understand how aligning on media expectations can often times pose a significant challenge. Groundbreaking news can certainly affect top-tier coverage immediately but often you are competing with other critical and important news. Transforming perceptions is not an immediate process. It involves strategic positioning and a gradual, methodical approach to secure the right organic, earned media attention. With news that is not groundbreaking, fostering strong media relationships, building a positive reputation, and consistently engaging with trade publications can fuel your path to broader recognition from top-tier outlets.
Leveraging Trade Publications for Health and Science Innovation
Unless your story possesses a truly groundbreaking angle that resonates with a broad audience and is supported by patient testimonials, imagery, video content, and clear data, it’s unlikely to break into top-tier markets right out of the gate. However, this is where trade publications can make a significant impact. These outlets are closely attuned to the latest developments in your industry, keeping a watchful eye on key industry leaders and major scientific advancements. When a story gains traction within trade publications, it significantly enhances its chances of piquing the interest of national outlets. Reporters from trade publications are experts in your field, with an in-depth understanding of the technical intricacies. As a result, they can cover your industry news in greater detail than mainstream media, often serving as the initial “vetting” for national media.
Trade publications, despite their niche focus, provide a wealth of valuable industry insights spanning the latest industry news, case studies, research findings, educational surveys, statistics, special reports, and opinion pieces on emerging practices within the industry. These publications also serve as a critical platform for discussing the implications of industry-related laws and regulations, providing companies with a voice to comment on relevant issues. Taking advantage of thought leadership opportunities is key to elevating the voice of the company and its leadership team.
Furthermore, many trade publications share their content through “controlled circulation,” disseminating free copies to qualified stakeholders within the industry, making news more accessible and catering to niche audiences.
Fostering Media Relationships: A Multifaceted Approach
To cultivate relationships with the media, especially within trade publications, it’s important to employ a multifaceted strategy.
No matter how strong your relationship is, your story needs to be on point. Communications pros must be up to date on the latest trends, issues, and storylines that matter to each media outlet they are targeting. The question should be, “How can I insert my company into the conversation?”
At a prior media event sponsored by LaVoieHealthScience, Gideon Gil, Managing Director, Enterprise and Partnerships at STAT stated, “Strong, unique ideas are as good as gold to reporters and editors as well as fascinating personalities to profile. Bring interesting people to us as we want to hear from experts who are doing innovative work in the field,” he said.
Other panelists at the LHS media event underscored the importance of demonstrating a true understanding of their publications, and the types of stories they cover. This will give you credibility over the long term and can be done through reading and researching.
Harness the power of social media. Instead of just “following” journalists and media sources, proactively participate in their online discussions and reach out to them to let them know you enjoyed an article that they wrote. Reshare relevant news through company platforms, dive into their articles or posts, and provide commentary when applicable. Monitor industry news daily as part of your PR responsibilities, and if a reporter covers related topics, connect with them. Express your interest in their work and take the opportunity to introduce your company into the conversation. While it may not promise instant media exposure, it represents a proactive move in establishing a relationship. By nurturing a positive relationship with reporters over time, you can ensure your company remains top of mind, enhancing the prospects of future coverage.
Seizing Media Opportunities
During periods when organic earned media coverage is pending, companies can explore options such as byline articles. Bylines, written by subject-matter experts, serve as a powerful tool for establishing credibility, as they position the company as a thought leader and subject matter expert. Bylines also give companies the opportunity to control the messaging of the article. Media outlets value bylines from experts, as they contribute content without the need for extensive research by reporters.
For companies who don’t have the time or resources to produce bylines, there are alternative options for gaining exposure in the realm of earned media, such as Q&As and podcasts. Q&A’s are quick and efficient ways to get your message out there by simply answering a few questions like: What is the story of your company? What differentiates you from your competitors? What makes your technology unique? Is there anything else readers should know about your company? Podcasts are audio interviews allowing thought leaders to discuss the industry they are working in and how the work their company is doing fits into the bigger picture. This format also provides a glimpse into the leader’s personality and how they got where they are today while opening the door for future media engagement. Many trade outlets now host podcasts, broadening the opportunity for earned media.
Enhancing Reputation and Attracting Top-Tier Media
Ultimately, these strategic steps are essential in shaping your media presence as you work towards attracting top-tier media. Understanding the types of stories that attract top-tier media attention is key to setting media expectations while also building a foundation of earned media coverage in trade publications. As companies work to achieve milestones that will gain the attention of top-tier media, trade media will have already built a story around the company and the work leading up to that milestone which is an important step in attracting top tier media. Media relations is not for the faint of heart and certainly doesn’t happen overnight. We at LaVoieHealthScience understand the media landscape and can help you navigate and set realistic goals around media engagement and your broader strategic communications plan.
Check out this case study for an example of how we secured top-tier media coverage through organic media exposure.
Contact us at email@example.com to learn how we can help you.
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