Publishing a guest editorial in a respected trade journal or on a third-party blog can add instant credibility and reach to your Thought Leadership programme. Building relationships with bloggers and journalists should also be seen as the vitally important first steps in a wider public relations strategy. You should target publications and blogs that are of interest to you and your potential client base. If you are unsure how to select these target publications, ask a small group of customers which publications they regularly read and which journalists/bloggers they respect.
Writing your first guest editorial
As you write your first guest editorial you have to bear a number of issues in mind:
- Is this article relevant to the readership? How advanced is the readership of the site or publication you are hoping to submit to? There is little point in offering a beginner’s guide to an advanced group of industry experts. Similarly, if you over-pitch to a readership of enthusiastic amateurs you will probably disengage them.
- Am I adding value to the conversation? It doesn’t matter what angle you take as long as you are adding value to the debate around a particular topic. If you are turning over old ground or reaffirming someone else’s Thought Leadership, it’s time to rethink your article.
- Get to the point: Does the editorial have a clear and actionable point? Don’t waste the readers’ (or journalists’) time with articles that go nowhere. Always make sure you challenge the reader to take action (even if that is just to reconsider their current behaviour).
- Does this sound like an advertisement? Advertising copy does not make good Thought Leadership but it is always a good idea to work a call to action into your copy.
The fact is, websites, magazines and journals will not feature editorial that doesn’t conform, within their guidelines, to the above points. Journalists, editors and bloggers are all busy people, and they love it when someone they know and trust can provide them with good clean copy that they can publish after a cursory glance. If you send them something they have to work on, the chances are they’ll never read another submission from you again, so make your submission a good one and you may be asked for more material in the future.
The above abridged text is taken from the book Becoming THE Expert: Enhancing Your Business Reputation through Thought Leadership Marketing available now from Amazon and the Apple iBookstore.