There used to be a famous print ad featuring a skeptical-looking businessman saying something along the lines of, “I’ve never heard of you, your company or your product. Now what is it you want to sell me?”
If being known was considered an important part of the pre-sales process a couple decades ago – before the world was saturated with social media and a host of online venues to critique products and services – imagine how much more important awareness and a positive image are for a company today.
People make purchasing decisions every day based on a company’s reputation. While recommendations from friends and online reviews are important, news media coverage is near the top of the influencer scale because of its perceived credibility.
Even companies with well-established brands and a sophisticated social media presence use publicity to nurture their reputations and maintain awareness.
As I wrote in a previous post, assigning a financial value to publicity can be challenging, but there’s no question that consistent publicity pays off. Image-conscience companies understand its strategic worth, as well as how positive publicity can help them gain a competitive edge over competitors by positioning them as experts and creating top-of-mind awareness among important audiences.
The flip side is that publicity is often not easy to get – unless there’s a crisis, scandal or something new and innovation. However, there is a “back-door” way to get ongoing coverage, if you’re willing to be part of a broader, multi-source story rather than the single focus of one.
Becoming a reliable source for reporters covering your industry – a source that is knowledgeable, articulate, easy to work with and responsive to requests for comments and expert insight – will raise the profile of your ad agency or organization in a way that can’t be beat by any other medium.