Bylines Remain as Important Today as They Ever Were
Writing guest articles for trade publications, or “bylines,” is still one of the most powerful and effective public relations tactics in the strategic communications toolbox.
Because a handful of goals can be attained with the publication of each piece of writing. “Done correctly, exposure on these sites can represent a strong endorsement for your brand and help build your reputation,” affirms Forbes.
To be sure, it is not as easy as simply slinging words to any old web site or news outlet. It takes strategy, finesse and an ability to say a lot without writing too much. You also need to know which outlets to approach and how, when and what to communicate to persuade editors your writing is worthy of publication. If you are not a public relations or media expert, this can be a daunting task. What’s more, as the writer you need to provide a significant amount of authenticity. Editors and readers alike can see right through a piece that is too promotional, of a company, product or service. There is a myriad of reasons that writing a high-quality guest article for a bonafide trade publication, as opposed to a blog, remains an important public relations strategy when executed correctly, and we have boiled it down to our top three.
Thought Leadership. As an industry leader your institutional knowledge is unquestioned. Your employees and colleagues know it, but those outside of your immediate circle are unaware. If you want to expand your personal and firm’s sphere of influence, and potential new business, you need to flex your industry acumen. “In our world of niche audiences served by trade publications, bylined articles are a great way to provide a client’s point of view on a particular topic of interest to their target audiences,” writes trade journal AdWeek.
Third-Party Affirmation. Sure, you can post an article to your company’s “News” webpage, but that clearly comes across as shilling. Instead, having an industry trade outlet publish your thoughts instantly adds a significant degree of credibility. After all, if the most trusted news source focused on your sector thinks enough of you to put their masthead above your name, imagine what a potential customer or investor reading that piece is going to think.
New Business. Reputational management is key to earning new business, deal flow, fundraising, etc. depending on your line of work. Properly leveraged, the first two points above combine to enhance your standing in your industry – all of which are often key to building your book of business.
There are other benefits to bylined writing, including building your network, enhancing customer/investor trust and strengthening relationships with influential publications.
Convinced you need to build a robust bylined program?
Great, now comes the hard part – writing.
Strengthening your writing chops and knowing how to leverage the final products can be an overwhelming process if you are not a communications expert, but the good news is it is never too late to get started. We will explore this topic in next month’s newsletter.