In 1968, artist Andy Warhol coined the expression “15 minutes of fame,” when he said “In the future, everyone will be world-famous for 15 minutes.” Since that time, people who are lucky enough to be interviewed or have their story in the news often joke that they received their “15 minutes.”
The truth is, that with media moving 24/7, you’re lucky if someone gives you 15 minutes. Most broadcast news stories are two to three minutes and readers rarely read 15 minutes worth of copy. This is why it’s important, when you place a story, that you have a great call to action or a worthwhile activity taking place (including legislation, a petition, etc.) that readers and/or viewers can respond to.
Recently, the American Academy of Audiology was featured on Good Morning America (GMA) in a news story about states mandating insurance coverage for hearing health care and hearing aids for children. The story featured the Academy’s Senior Director of Government Relations, Susan Pilch. While the story garnered more than 3.5 million viewers and resulted in millions of dollars of coverage, the story has a longer shelf life and value through social media. By sharing the story on all of the American Academy of Audiology social media channels and boosting those shares so that they go to people who are specifically interested in audiology, hearing health, and hearing aids, the story will receive placement with an audience that is interested—and likely ready to act.
Often individuals, companies, and organizations receive coverage, bask in the glow for 24 hours, and then move on. They’ve missed a golden opportunity to keep the story alive for as long as possible by sending it to as many stakeholders as possible through reposting and sharing.
When you, your practice, or company receives coverage, don’t assume that all of your co-workers and patients saw it. Sharing positive media coverage boosts employee morale. Sharing positive media with patients reinforces the fact that they’ve made a great choice in selecting you and your practice.
While many people are afraid that sharing the news appears to be bragging—it’s really more about sharing a positive news story and will help to elevate the profession. Still, also feel free to brag. It may be a long time before you have another shot at a great story. Positive news is the best type of marketing for you and your practice/company. It’s a third-party endorsement by an unbiased party—something very valuable and often difficult to get. It provides great credibility.
Positive news coverage also helps to minimize negative reviews or a future communications crisis. While negative news cannot be minimized, having positive news is a type of inoculation if anything negative should come up. Readers/viewers will have established a positive outlook on you and your practice or company that will help to reduce damage.
With some news stories, you can get permission from the media outlet to use the coverage in advertising as well. When you repost coverage, always be sure that you either are posting from an online link from the media outlet or you have permission to use the story. There are copyright laws that allow you to use any stories placed online that are available to the general public with a link that goes directly back to the story on the outlet’s website.
The law does not allow you to obtain the story from another source. For instance, you can’t scan in a Wall Street Journal article about you or your company and then send it out or post it. That’s copyright infringement. You can go to the Wall Street Journal website, find the link to your article, and post it. Some outlets (such as the Wall Street Journal) are available for subscribers only and there will be a firewall stopping others trying to log into the clip. In this case, you can often purchase the use of the link from the outlet.
Place articles and stories prominently on your website. They do not belong in the press room; that’s where media go when they’re working on articles and stories. Instead, your coverage belongs up front on your website, where your patients and prospects can easily see it.
Depending on the subject of the story, there are opportunities to reach out and update the reporter as time goes by. For instance, with the American Academy of Audiology GMA story, we’ll contact the producer as more states come on board with insurance coverage for children and/or if we come across any human-interest stories that are good follow-up for the initial story.
American Academy of Audiology members should also use the GMA story on their social media platforms. You can have a lead that says, “We are a proud member of the American Academy of Audiology.”
Often, when there’s a national story on a network, the local affiliates will easily take a local story on the same topic. For example, following the GMA Academy story, if you have patients with children who have hearing aids, and they’re willing to talk with media, you can pitch them to your local ABC television affiliate. You’d want to do this the same day that the GMA story airs or the following day.
Or, you can resurrect the entire story and see if the local ABC television affiliate consumer affairs reporter will do a similar story of their own based on your practice and patients. This will include the specific laws and coverage for your state. You may want to confer with the Academy governmental affairs office if you’re not certain where your state currently stands on this. You can also keep the story alive by continuing to post updates on your social media channels.
Following the story and interest from GMA, we created a press release with updated information to pitch to other national outlets. As more states jump in, we’ll continue to reach out to outlets with the story and we’ll have ongoing social media content to leverage in securing more followers.
You can also find several resources including a Public Relations Tool Kit, press release templates, and more click here.