At a meeting of IABC/Toronto’s Professional Independent Communicators, Carl outlined how to drive reputation through content that shows off your client’s or your expertise.
That content could include print and online articles, blog posts, SlideShare presentations, e-books and printed books. It could be as simple as a quick infographic or as complex as a white paper. Or it could be audio (podcasts) or YouTube videos.
Carl told the group that effective content stems from one or both of two main motivators:
- Fear: Show that there’s a real problem and how to solve it. (Carl’s favourite.)
- Greed: Show that there’s an opportunity they are missing and how they can seize it.
Whatever the form your content takes, it should show you’re aware of the situation and emerging trends. “Your clients depend on you to watch out for their interests and advise them how to react to avoid harm or gain a benefit,” he said.
Among the types of content Carl suggested are:
- “newsjacking,” where you take a developing news event and relate it to what your clients (or their clients) are thinking
- trend content, or newsjacking in slow motion, where you outline how the client can avoid an emerging problem or gain a benefit
- how-to pieces that show the steps to achieve a desired outcome, or a list of success factors (note that this should be a tangent to what you do, not giving away the secrets of what you do)
- case studies that describe a situation in a story, steps taken to solve issues, problems overcome, lessons learned and the results.
As for how to get your content in the right places, Carl said, “Fish where the fish are.” In other words, find those geeky trade publications serving your client’s industry. Ask your clients what they read, and check paid media directories. He added that print magazines are still going strong, but don’t forget magazine websites, client association websites and high-traffic blogs.
Find out first what your client wants to be known for, and then present your idea to the editor. Follow best practices for query letters, including showing how the story is relevant to the target audience.
Stretch published articles by sharing them as reprints, posting PDFs to your blog and other online profiles and posting as an article on LinkedIn.
For more tips, subscribe to Carl’s e-newsletter mailing list and receive his free e-book, Get That Article Published!