Beyond the Ad – Getting Editorial Features
There was, and still is, a time when someone asks you what you do and when you mention marketing, they say, “advertising”? If you’re like me, then you’ll do the invisible eye roll because you feel that in the vastness of what you accomplish for clients day-in and day-out, that you just got diminished into a one word description that barely scratches the surface of what you do.
When I went to school and majored in marketing (yay for class of 2002!), we didn’t have an advertising class. We didn’t concentrate on evaluating how to construct an ad plan across different mediums. What we concentrated on was market and financial analysis that would give us the basis for how we could communicate a brand’s message to the target audience. After all, how could you make a sound decision without looking at past data?
Straight out of college, I worked largely in marketing and public relations in the hospitality industry – Caesars Palace and Wynn International. Here, we worked on getting coverage – editorial features. We came up with story ideas that were newsworthy and we collaborated with editors on these ideas. Now, during this time, of course, the hotel had an advertising director who was doing a lot of media buying, but my point is, there’s more to just buying advertising. Who is really working on telling the stories that highlight your company?
How to Get Editorial Features
You have to think beyond the ad and start getting creative in how you can approach editors with a potential story, feature or collaborate on an existing project that is already in the works. I know what you’re going to say – you hardly get anything for free. No ad campaign. No editorial. This can be true in two ways. First, if you don’t have an ad campaign with the publication, yes, it’s an uphill battle – but don’t stop trying! The sales department wants to earn your business and there are plenty of publications out there that are willing to put their foot forward first.
If you indeed have an ad plan with a publication, ALWAYS ask for editorial support. You’re going to, more than likely, get a positive response. There are also cases where the sales rep won’t guarantee editorial placement but will promise to help get it in front of the editors. That, in general, is a good enough indication that they’ll be good to you. At the end of the day, the sales rep will want you to renew. The more they can do to help you surround your advertising plan with editorial, the more pleased they know that you’ll be.
So, now that you have your ad plan and editorial request in place, you’ll have to make sure you follow up with sending your sales rep newsworthy items. You’ll want to submit well-written press releases that have newsworthy announcements such as new products, company advancements or new significant endeavors.
Next, visuals are everything. Send the publication hi-resolution images (that’s 300 dpi people!) so that they can have a great supplement to the editorial.