Media consumption has seen a significant increase in 2020. With more people social distancing and staying home, digital news sites are experiencing spikes in readership. In May, Nielsen reported a 215% increase over last year in time spent on mobile to access current events and global news in the U.S.
This increase in readership presents opportunities for businesses, not only for paid media campaigns, but also for public relations. A great PR tactic to adopt right now is a bylined article campaign. These articles are not authored by a newsroom reporter, but instead by a credible community source, like a business owner or industry expert. They are then submitted for review, and if approved, often wind up in a publication’s opinion section or tagged with a “contributor” label.
News outlets find value in contributed articles because they offer readers an informed perspective without utilizing the limited resources of a modern-day newsroom, while the experts reap the benefits of free exposure and publicity.
Now that we know what a bylined article is, let’s dive into how to write one.
Choose your topic
To decide on a topic, ask yourself a few questions: How can my expertise solve a problem? Can my past experiences offer a different perspective on an issue? Does my business have any client success stories that will provide insight for other business owners?
Consider current events when choosing your topic. News outlets are always on the hunt for timely story angles, especially if you can speak to how current events affect a specific group.
For example, TJA CEO Veronique James wrote about recovery marketing back in April as COVID-19 spread around the world. She offered advice that spoke to small business owners like herself during a time when people were grasping for a north star to guide them.
Thanks to the timeliness of the subject and the relevance of the content to their readers, we were able to secure Veronique’s article with local publisher, AZ Big Media.
Gather the facts
Unless you intend to write an article that summarizes statistics based on your company’s own research, it’s time to gather facts that support your ideas. There’s no need to go overboard; this isn’t a college research paper. Incorporating research will give your insight merit and gives your readers more reason to listen to what you have to say.
An example? Take a look at the first paragraph of this blog: I cited research by Nielsen that reports an increase in digital news consumption, supporting my idea that now is a good time for businesses to adopt a bylined article strategy. Easy -peasy.
Bylined article ≠ advertorial
The trick to bylined articles is that they should not overtly promote your business. They are not the same as advertorials. The idea is to provide value and real insight to readers. In return, the credibility earned from being published by a trusted news source not only garners awareness for you and your services, but also establishes you as a trustworthy industry expert.
Off to the races
Once written, you can submit your article to editors, and, hopefully, get approved for publishing. Other factors to consider include writing the article in journalism’s preferred AP Style, choosing the correct news outlets to submit your work and mastering the art of the pitch.
That’s where partnering with an integrated agency like The James Agency can save you time. We not only write and secure published bylined articles, but also we create long-term PR strategies that earn consistent exposure for our clients.
Want to know more about what PR can do for your business? Drop us a line.