How to Make Sure Your Story Is Seen

The following article was featured in last week’s issue of The Legal Intelligencer and written by vice president of Bellevue Communications Group, Jeff Jubelirer

How to Make Sure Your Story Is Seen 

Jeff Jubelirer, The Legal Intelligencer

June 24, 2016

Jeff JubelirerIf a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?

You’re proud. Beaming in fact. You worked hard to land that story about your practice in the local business journal. And now you can’t wait to hear the accolades roll in from your boss, clients, colleagues and friend. But what do you hear? Nary a peep. No one sends a note, nor mentions the article in casual conversation. Was it a waste? After all, the whole objective was to showcase the great work you’ve been doing, but if no one saw it then it might as well not have been published, right? Wrong. Sure, you’re disappointed but there are many ways to ensure that your news is seen, read or heard. You just need to know where your stakeholders (clients, employees, shareholders, public officials and more) go to get news because they will value the story more if they’re consuming it on their self-selected medium.

There are thousands of different ways for people to get their news. With the continuing explosion of online news sites—whether credible sources of information or not—people are consuming what information they want, when, how and where they want it. How can you capitalize on this ever-growing number of options? Let’s look at several different channels that likely hold the answers to this question.

First, use social media. If you’re not posting the great news on your Facebook page, Twitter feed, LinkedIn page or your YouTube channel (if it’s a video), you are missing out on a huge opportunity. According to Pew, 64 percent of U.S. adults are on Facebook. Thirty percent of users rely on Facebook to get their news. There is added credibility when users see their friends post stories because that is a medium they chose to get their news. While overall, Twitter is not as popular as Facebook, it is when it comes to how people prefer to get their news.

The second channel is email. Many organizations utilize electronic newsletters to share news with their different stakeholders. Some use Constant Contact or similar online newsletter templates to connect with stakeholders who have generally opted in to receiving communications from you. These are often emailed out on a regular schedule. The nice thing about email is that it invites your recipients to read or view the information when they choose at their convenience and when they are interested.

Third is your firm’s website. Websites are often the place prospects first check out when they want to learn more about you and your work. Placing your positive story on the home page and including it on a news subpage are your best bets for getting it noticed by potential clients.

For reaching fellow colleagues or employees, internal private portals or your organization’s intranet is a great venue to get your news seen. This internal platform often serves as your firm or company’s home page, so it’s the first thing employees see when they log in after getting in to work.

While almost everything is available in a digital format these days, it behooves you to consider getting hard copy reprints of particularly special news. Sending a select group of recipients such as longtime clients or sought-after prospects a note along with a nicely formatted reprint of a news article makes for an impressive, albeit relatively expensive, mailing.

Finally, do not forget to consider asking a happy client, customer or vendor to share your good news with their own networks. After all, people give word of mouth as a marketing strategy the highest ranking for credibility. There’s no better marketing for you than having others get your story from one of their trusted sources.

Regardless of channel, make sure your story can be seen in a mobile-friendly way. Pew found that two out of every three people in the United States own a smartphone now, and 68 percent of them rely on it to follow news. Additionally, 67 percent proceed to share via their phones, news, videos, pictures or events happening in their community. This means ensuring that your firm or company website is responsive and adaptive to mobile platforms in addition to your desktop computer.

What are you going to do the next time good press comes your way? Will you have a plan to ensure it will be seen? After all, good stories are still treasured. They are just consumed in more places than ever these days.

Jeff Jubelirer is vice president of Bellevue Communications Group. He leads the development and execution of his clients’ strategic communications programs, including media relations, issue and crisis management and community relations. He also is an adjunct professor in crisis communication at Temple University.