Social PR Secret: The more often you are quoted by the media, the more likely you will be quoted in the future.
Today’s media relations and research is more than press releases and mass email pitches, it’s about being first, Google searches, social media mentions and stand out news content. Ever wonder how a journalist or blogger decides who to interview for a story and how they pick who makes the published final cut?
Some brands might think the hardest part is getting the interview, but actually once you have the interview it’s important to keep in mind you are most likely not the only source and the journalist/blogger might not use every source. So you need to stand out and finish the race by actually getting published as the the expert source in the story!
You have the interview, now what? The answer could be as easy as:
Dare to different. Thirty-five percent of experts interviewed are not quoted in the final story because the source says the same thing as anyone else.
Say something out of the box.
Don’t play it safe by giving the same opinion as your peers.
Share some incredible stats, blurbs or predictions that will make your interview stand out from the rest.
Provide third party data paired with why you agree or disagree.
Get visual – having a curated library of images increases your chances of getting published and makes the media’s job easier!
Watch for industry breaking news and provide a comment immediately to the reporters that typically cover that subject.
Getting quoted in the top-tier media is no easy task; but the results create a credibility and authority factor that advertising can’t match and can also result in natural links, the kind money can’t buy and Google considers a best practice.
History of the Media Choosing Experts
Up until the 1960s, a source’s standing with journalists was determined by their political weight which was a very reactive way to approach reporting. Politicians set the agenda and that’s what journalists would report. This eliminated the need for external opinion so the only experts interviewed were ‘hard scientists’ like biologists, doctors and physicists.
Fast forward to the digital age and the internet made it necessary for journalists to adopt a new role. Now they’re interpreters and analysts because merely presenting the facts to readers is not enough. Journalists must explain why something happened and what it means. It’s no wonder the most scientists that are quoted in articles today are social scientists who can explain the world to readers.
In depth reporting became the norm, and this required a more critical approach to journalism. In came the experts. Erik Albaek reports in his journal article “Experts in the Mass Media: Researchers as Sources in Danish Daily Newspapers, 1961-2001” that between that time the number of expert quoted in print journalism increased sevenfold. A typical news story these days also mentions more experts than it used to.
Say Hello to Natural Links.
In addition to being considered an expert in your field, being quoted in the media builds natural links to your website (the ones Google likes!). Natural link building can play a role in amplifying your exposure, which in turn brings your audience to you and builds your brand. It improves your search engine rankings and gives potential customers a direct link to you. People prefer working with someone who is well-known and your quote has earned you authoritative status – at least for your industry.
In their 2014 Pubcon presentation titled 10 Most Frequently Asked Questions in Social Media, Alan K’necht and Adam Proehl declared that natural links are the best kind because your site is getting talked about by real people. It’s not the be-all, end-all because you need more to get a targetted page to the top of Google search results for a desired keyphrase, but it should definitely be a goal to acquire organic links.
How Journalists Choose Experts
Albaek’s studies show in more than 90 percent of cases, the journalist independently initiates contact with an expert source and only a small amount of that is done based on a press release by the expert. That’s not to say that press releases have lost their value, we just need to make sure they continue to be newsworthy and promote them in new and inventive ways.
Note that according to the study; when journalists contact story sources, those who have been used extensively in the past are simply used even more. So the more often you are quoted, the more likely that will continue in the future.
The Rewards of Interview Originality
Thirty-five percent of experts contacted are not quoted in the final story because the source says the same thing as anyone else. If you have a unique, original insight then share it instead of saying whatever is expected. One may think that journalists call sources to confirm their own opinion but in reality they try to remove their opinion and only decide on the article’s perspective after they have called one or more experts.
How to Increase the Odds of Being Quoted by the Media
100% of journalists surveyed reported that they use Google as part of their story research and first and foremost, build your search and social presence! If you’re already a renowned expert then journalists will know to call on you but if not, how do you suppose they’ll
a) find you and
b) consider you reliable enough to be worth getting in touch with?
If you want to be considered an expert you need to start some type of authoritative content marketing. Follow these Social PR Content Trends for 2014 for some current tricks of the trade. Write a blog, publish white papers or at the very least create an industry-related account on Twitter and Google Plus and provide a running commentary on trends. You’re best bet is a combination of these recommendations so you can cross-promote and gain more ROI for the time spent working on them.
Social PR Secret: Set up your Google Authorship immediately! Not only will your photo appear next to your content in search results, it also gives Google the ability to identify quality, human-created content and distinguish it from content that isn’t quite up to par.
Tools to Track Media Mentions in Search and Social
- Google Alerts
So, remember: getting the interview is only part one of getting quoted by the media. Be sure not to miss an opportunity by being original in your interviews and the natural links will follow.
Bonus: Social PR Success!
Here’s a sneak-peek into my book Social PR Secrets! Chapter 3, Today’s Media Relations demonstrates how everything we just discussed comes into play and can lead to unbelievable results!
“When Suzanne Somers started researching expert sources for her New York Times bestseller Ageless: The Naked Truth About Bioidentical Hormones she started with a Google search using keywords ‘bioidentical hormone therapy doctors.’ What came to the top of the page of her Google search was one of the press releases announcing
the opening of my client Dr. Paul Savage’s hormone therapy practice in Chicago. As a result, Dr. Savage landed a phone interview with Suzanne and contributed a full chapter to her book.”
For more great insights on how to optimize, socialize and publicize your brand’s news, purchase Social PR Secrets today.