Ask any public relations pro which tools they use to tell a client’s story, and the press release is more than likely at the top of the list. Pitches, media tours, press conferences and other tactics likely follow. Of all the go-to ways to share a client’s message, contributed content tends to sit at the bottom of the idea pile – but why?
In a recent webinar hosted by PRGN, Glenn Gillen, senior account executive at S&A Communications, shared the benefits of guest articles (also referred to as bylined articles or contributed content) and a few industry tips to help navigate what can be an unfamiliar space.
Advantages of Contributed Content
- You (and your client) control the message – it drastically decreases the chance of a misquote or a quote taken out of context
- It’s easier to pitch than an interview
- It positions the author (the client) as a subject matter and industry expert, someone with a lot of information in one particular field, or a thought leader, and someone who has significant influence
- It increases visibility to the target audience, generates leads and increases SEO rankings
Six Tips for Placing Contributed Content
Do your homework
Research things like: editorial calendars, guidelines, word length, headshot requirements and contact information. Look for other guest articles featured in the publication for guidance.
Suitable content includes original research or survey results, practical advice or tips, unique insights/perspectives on new trends and legislative or regulatory updates.
Don’t be overtly self-promotional
Don’t directly mention the client’s business or product, but it is acceptable to mention the author’s role and experience at the company, as long as it’s used for credibility and not to sell a service or product.
Prioritize your media list and let the editor know you are only offering the article to them. If they decline, you can pitch it elsewhere.
Capture the voice of the author
Aim for authenticity, but watch for industry jargon that may not translate well to the reader.
Remember to thank the editor after the article has been published and express a willingness to contribute content in the future.