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5 Reasons Media Publicity Will Grow Your Email List Faster

You’ve been busy perfecting your blog posts and content marketing. By now perhaps you have realized that all content – even great content – is not created equal. Publicity and media mentions can elevate all your posts into the best type of content possible, and grow your email opt-ins even faster.

Here’s why.

We are in what’s called a reputation economy, where the currency is trust. Nielsen Truth in Advertising Survey reports consumer trust in advertising continually declining each year. They identify the top three things consumers trust: reviews and recommendations from family and friends, online reviews, and the media [in that order].

Think about it. The last time you went to buy a new computer, or decided which restaurant or movie to go to over the weekend, you mostly likely checked with friends or an online review site before finalizing your decision.

That’s the reputation and trust economy in a nutshell. Seeking out recommendations and reviews has become a necessary part of our buying behavior and can sway purchase decisions both positively and negatively.

The same goes for the media who provide “reputation capital”, the same trust and influence that make sites like Airbnb and eBay work. By providing enough visible third party reviews, strangers then have the confidence to buy from each other on their sites.

You can put this reputation capital to work for your blog using publicity. Before we jump in, though, let’s define just who the media are. They can be defined as radio, television, newspapers, magazines, influential blogs or website portals, and anyone or anything that reaches or influences people widely.

5 Reasons That Media Publicity Will Grow Your Email List Faster

Reason #1: Increased Visibility

Getting featured in the media provides you with increased visibility to a wider audience – the readers of the media outlet. Not only is it great visibility, it’s also free and indicates that your content is higher value content, as I’ll elaborate in the points below. If a publication has both an online and print edition, even better! You can get multiple exposures to multiple audiences.

Reason #2: Warm Referral

You can think of your media mention like a warm referral.Click To Tweet

People trust the media as a source of recommendations, as they would value a recommendation from a friend or family member. A reader who comes to your blog after seeing you featured in the media is already pre-sold on you. You don’t have to work to prove yourself as you do with a cold prospect or visitor who somehow happens to find your site via a Google search.

Reason #3: Implied Endorsement

Publicity is a very desirable form of content because it provides an implied endorsement from the media. It is perceived like a five star review of a restaurant or book on Amazon. While the media isn’t technically endorsing you, by writing about you, mentioning you or quoting you, they are featuring you.

They have chosen you, not your competitors. As a result, you benefit from a halo effect – a predisposition to admire all of a person’s actions, work, etc., – and positions you as the obvious choice. To the reader, the media coverage reads like an endorsement, and positions you instantly as the top expert, and that is what counts!

Reason #4: Celebrity Factor / Influencers

In addition to the implied endorsement and trust the media provides, it also provides a celebrity factor. Our culture is obsessed with celebrities and influencers. You are judged by the company you keep. Being seen as an influencer with influencers [in this case the media], you become a magnet – for people, prospects, clients, as well as other potentially beneficial opportunities, such as speaking invitations to partnership invitations and more.

Now that you have been featured in the media, you are seen as a top expert and an influencer. In other words, a celebrity. You will be amazed at how people you haven’t spoken to in a while will reach out to you after seeing you in the media.

Reason #5: SEO Value / Link

Media sites or portals typically rank high in the search engines. In Google’s eyes, they are considered authority sites, which means that a link to your website from them carries more weight than a link from an ordinary website. You get a bigger SEO boost from this link, which translates to coming up higher in searches for your name, your keywords associated with the article, and images in the article. It may also result in some good social media activity and mentions.

The net result is that your own website can get a boost in rankings, and the media mention can become their own unique search results for you – results which will display your name right alongside the media name. This is great influencer positioning!

Your prospect will now always associate you with that renowned media outlet in their mind! That is the kind of fantastic positioning you can’t pay for, which is worth its weight in gold.

3 Ways to Start Receiving Media Publicity

By now you may be thinking, “Ok, great! I need me some media publicity to grow my email list. Now how do I get it?”

There are many ways to get media coverage. Here are a few free ways to get started using your existing skills.

Respond to Journalist Inquiries

There are a few matchmaking services that post queries from journalists already working on a story. All you have to do is reply to them! These journalists need an expert like you to offer a quote, thought leadership or case studies.

I love this method, as it is easy and the opportunities are delivered directly to your inbox every day. There is little learning curve as you already know how to send an email. Plus, this method removes the need to come up with a story idea. The results are rapid, as the stories are ready to get published as soon as the expert quote is added.

The two top free services are Haro [Help a Reporter Out] and Sourcebottle.

Connect With – and Pitch – Journalists on Social Media

Journalists have embraced social media, so it’s easy to connect with them and eventually pitch them a story about you or your business. I say eventually, as it’s important to do this properly to insure success and not get banned by journalists. This method takes a little longer, however it can pay big dividends.

There are probably journalists in your existing social networks already; they are also easy to search for. Or you can do a search for lists of journalists via Twitter search or by job title on Linkedin.

Here’s a quick rule of thumb – develop a relationship before you pitch them. Show some social love by retweeting their work, leaving comments and being supportive and positive. Do your homework and make sure they actually write about your subject, industry or geographic location before pitching them.

Write and Distribute Press Releases

Despite the rumors that press releases are dead, they are in fact very much alive! And, they can help you get press. Starting local is a great way to get results; local press is easier to get simply because the town or county paper has a restricted geographic region, as well as circulation.

Don’t discount the value of this press – it will put you in front of your local market, give you media coverage you can leverage and promote to your existing prospect, customers and partners, and it can potentially lead to additional press. Some local papers get syndicated, as they are part of a larger network of papers; in this case when you are published in your local paper, your news is also distributed and published on their entire network of papers, multiplying your media exposure and visibility. Your release must be properly formatted and well written. You can find press release formatting online simply by Googling it.

There are three things you should do with a press release. First, use a free or paid service, easily found online, to help you distribute the release.

Second, you can pitch it to an editor at your local paper, after doing some research to identify who covers your topic [most likely the local business journalist or editor]. The best way to pitch them is a short personalized note with a catchy headline about your story, telling them why you think it’s a fit for their audience, with the full release pasted in below your pitch – don’t just send them the press release on its own.

The third way is to publish your entire release on the newspaper website, if your local paper has a section for reader submitted press releases.

Leverage Your Media Mentions to Grow Your Email List

Now that you understand how the media helps elevate your content to its most desired state, and how to start getting this kind of media publicity, you need to leverage your media mentions to fully benefit from them.

If you are lucky, your media mentions will include a link back to your website or directly to your blog, leading people to you in one click, making it easier for people to check you out. A media mention may allow you to offer an author bio. If they do, be sure to mention your free report (or another free piece of content that you offer in exchange for a new subscriber’s email address) and a link to it.

The thing to remember about the media is that they are in control. Unlike advertising, where you get to decide what you want to include, the media gets to decide exactly what they cover. And they get to decide if they allow links to your site at all, or a mention of the offer you would like included.

The good news is, with or without the link, you are sure to have people read about you and then seek you out online. They will Google you, go to your website to find out more about you, connect with you on social media, etc. And once they go looking for you, they’ll find your free opt in gift and opt into your list.

To leverage that media love, you want to let your existing readers and site visitors know about it.

If a tree falls in the forest… you know how that ends. Don’t rely on a media mention to elevate your content. Proactively let your audience know.

You can do this by putting a banner at the top of your website and blog saying “As Seen In”. I highly recommend you use the media logos. People scan pages and the recognizable logos will instantly signal the reader to associate you with top media brands. You have immediately positioned yourself as a top expert in their eyes. Other ways to showcase your media mentions are in a sidebar widget or as a text mention in your author bio.

Dive into Media Publicity and Grow Your Email List

Contrary to popular belief, media publicity, whether online or offline, is still a great way to grow your email list. When people first meet you, they want to know that you’re an expert, that you’re trustworthy, and that you’ve helped other people just like them. Media coverage helps you with all of that, making the “sale” of your free incentive to get on your email list that much more appealing!

Getting media publicity can be intimidating if you’ve never done it before, but the results are definitely worth it. Remember to tell your current audience about your publicity, as well as making sure everything’s in place to welcome your new readers.

And don’t forget to tell Mom – she’s sure to help spread the word!

Have you used media publicity to grow your email list? Tell me about it in the comments below. And, if you have questions about how to get started, ask in the comments – I’d love to help!

About Jane Tabachnick

Jane Tabachnick is the author of Publicity For Introverts. She has been named one of the top 100 people online by Fast Company for her work as a digital PR strategist who teaches savvy authors and heart centered women entrepreneurs how to gain visibility and instant expert status through her free 2015 Publicity Toolkit and Planner. Jane is the creator of Easy Author One Sheets, InstantPressroom.com, AuthorityBar.com and PublicityClientMagnet.com. You can connect with her on Twitter (@JaneTabachnick).

14 comments

  1. Emily says:

    Hi Jane – great article. Do you need permission to use media logos in an “as seen on” section on your website?

    1. Hi, Emily,

      Jane invited me to jump in with an answer to your question (I’m an intellectual property lawyer). The answer is that you do not need permission to use media logos on your site in the context Jane is talking about. You actually did appear on a famous blog or in Inc. magazine. So you’re not creating any consumer confusion there and you’re not in competition with the media outlet whose logo you’re using.

      You could even ask for web-ready badges to use and they’ll probably send you a selection to choose from.

      Kathryn

      1. Jane says:

        Thank you Emily. Glad you found the article valuable! Thank you Katherine Goldman for providing us with your legal expertise.

        If you were to reach out to the media outlet to get their logos – I recommend you include a screenshot of the page where you were Seen – if the publication didn’t generate the content inhouse, it won’t be familiar to them… so by providing it to them in your email, you answer any questions they would have.

        Alternatively, a google image search typically will show high resolution logos.

        Jane

  2. Mar
    glad you found the content valuable. Advertising still works. It is just scrutinized and trusted less. To succeed with advertising, trust factors need to be present. In the ad if possible, if not within the ad, then the trust factors should be immediately seen or heard – on the landing page the ad directs to, as part of a welcome message in when you call the company…

  3. Great nuts and bolts info. Especially liked having the “trust economy” theory articulated. I had suspected that ads had hit a brick wall, but never heard an alternative approach voiced. But ads are still around and thriving, it seems. Why is that?

  4. Sarah,

    Glad you had a light bulb moment here on using publicity! Another factor that I didn’t mention in the article, is that very few entrepreneurs proactively do public relations – so just getting in the publicity game puts you ahead of most of your competitors.

    Great question about where to start. Firstly, please keep in mind that succeeding with public relations is a long term initiative. I love Haro and Sourcebottle because they are free, there isn’t a big learning curve [crafting a great pitch is the only skill you may not already have for this method – and it can be learned quickly] and they can deliver almost instant publicity!

    Connecting with journalists on social media is something you may already be doing – however, I encourage you to start as soon as possible – you want to ‘date’ them, and develop a relationship [retweet their content, make positive comments…], before
    you pitch them.

    Press releases are still a standard and valuable public relations tool – I recommend coming up with 2 future press release ideas for starters. It could be a new product, a new report, an award….

    Part of the key to being successful is planning. Even the most simple plan will give you a roadmap and action steps you need to take. Any one of these three are a great start- and if you can do all three, even better.

    I lay out 3 simple publicity plan strategies in my 2015 Publicity Planner and Toolkit – along with some other great tips and resources – the download link is at the end of the article!

    To your publicity Success!

  5. Sarah says:

    Wow I never thought about using publicity to grow my list. Thanks for providing so many ideas for how to actually do it. If you were advising a relatively unknown person- where would you start? Press release? ‘Meet’ journalist on social media? HARO? other.

  6. Virginia says:

    Thanks for the useful resources. Implied endorsement does do the trick with some folks – even if not always warranted. .

  7. Rob Newman says:

    I hired a local PR person for a previous business. I got interviews with editors of local business magazines and was published in a couple of them. THIS WAS AN AWESOME BOOST to my leads.

    PR is way better than advertising. Have you ever asked an advertising company, who they advertise with? How many advertisements do you see for an advertising company?? ha!

    Rob

    1. Rob,
      Congrats on getting interviews and publicity! It is amazing how publicity gives you that ‘awesome boost’ [after years doing PR for myself and clients – I still experience that feeling!]

      thanks for sharing your own experience.

      Jane

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