Historically, all press was considered good press. Companies counted “press mentions” as a way of justifying marketing expenditures. In the age of the internet when bad press can quickly outweigh good press, what’s more important is the quality of the press coverage a company receives. Here are four considerations in assessing whether getting press coverage advances or detracts from your company’s purpose.
Types of Press Coverage
1. Published press releases. Companies that develop and distribute press releases for announcing new product or service offerings, the opening of new offices, the addition of new personnel, and participation in industry events including tradeshows, conferences, and webinars will generally be seen as growth-oriented companies. The use of press releases in this case certainly increases visibility and name recognition in the marketplace.
2. Published articles, white papers and case studies. Companies that create editorial content and arrange for that content to be published in the national business press, targeted trade magazines, news sites, websites or business journals are generally more favorable than those companies that do not get the same attention or recognition. Whether in print or online, this kind of press coverage generates a positive response and not only increases visibility and name recognition but positions the company as an industry expert or leader in the field.
3. Websites, social media and other forms of marketing communications content. This type of coverage has to be fresh, current and engaging. Old or outdated content on a company’s website does a disservice to companies. Their image becomes stale and stagnant and company employees question management’s commitment to thriving in a competitive marketplace.
4. Reported news. When company executives are interviewed by the media (TV, radio or other outlets), it gets a little more dicey. In these situations, companies cannot control the outcome of their interviews or what the reporters choose to write or say. In addition, live interviews are challenging to even media-savvy professionals. Subject-matter experts need to be media-ready and know how to interview, how to listen, and how to respond. They need to be more poised and confident. There are no do-overs in live interviews.
Plan For The Unexpected
Although good press is always the goal, bad press isn’t always bad. For startups and small businesses fighting for recognition in a crowded marketplace, some press is better than no press. Because the company is new, it may be easier to make corrections and quickly sway public opinion to a positive view. With established brands, the effect of bad publicity lingers. While it is possible to make a living by being infamous (just look at some reality stars, politicians and musicians), it can be both risky and difficult to convert negative press into actual customers. Experienced marketers know to plan for the unexpected by having processes and people in place to respond to any unexpected media attention. Of course, the best plan is to stay ahead of the curve by implementing a strategic plan that consistently keeps your company’s name in the marketplace in the best possible light.