In addition to press releases (see last week’s post), bylined articles represent another key public relations format, and they will help you establish your client as an expert in their field.
Ideally, it is often helpful to find a key publication (online or a trade journal) and establish a relationship with the editor to write a bylined article once a month. These articles can be as short as 500 words each, a key pitching point if the publication has space considerations.
The article should address an issue of current concern in your client’s field, but its publication is secondary to its use as a reprint. A reprint is not a xerox copy of the article, as some might think. Instead, it contains a banner from the publication, the article itself, formatted to fit the page, and, of course, all advertisements are removed.
It should be printed on glossy paper, with the author’s headshot, and it should be used to establish the company as an expert in their field. Three recent reprints should be included in your client’s press kit along with a tri-fold and relevant press releases.
If possible, the bylined article should cover an evergreen topic so it does not become stale or dated. If you can’t find a single publication willing to publish an ongoing column, you can research multiple publications in your client’s field through research tools such as Bacon’s Directory.
Bacon’s provides essential details on almost every major and minor publication in the United States including circulation, editors and reporters, and a detailed summary of the topics each publication covers. If the client wishes, you can use Bacon’s to create a “media list” with 30 or more publications for review.
One key factor in placing your client’s bylined article involves pitching reporters and editors. If the article isn’t published, you can’t use it as a reprint. We will cover pitching in next week’s post.