Sharing expertise in a respected trade journal is an effective way to become better known and to be seen as a top player in your field. A bylined article — labeled “by so-and-so” — shines a spotlight on your company, positioning you as a thought leader. These articles must cover relevant industry topics without overtly plugging your product. However, by familiarizing the world with the latest developments (which your company, naturally, offers) and by keeping your company’s name foremost in readers’ minds, you can become the go-to source for what you are selling.
You might think it’s hard to get such an article published, but editors are always searching for quality content. If you can offer insights their readers will find valuable, in a format that can slide easily into their magazine’s layout, editors will be happy to publish what you have to say.
Here are seven steps we follow to help our clients convert their thoughts from inspiration to publication.
1. Pick a killer topic
As a team, we come up with a topic that will really resonate with readers. The goal is to showcase our client’s unique expertise and to differentiate among other options available in the marketplace — thereby helping the audience understand why our client’s offering is the best.
2. Identify and prioritize potential media
We then determine which media are best suited to reach our client’s prospects. Considerations include the type and location of readership, and the broadness or narrowness of focus. In many industries, the publications to target will be obvious. We create a short, prioritized list we think our article will suit, with the largest possible readership of potential buyers.
3. Create an abstract
We write an abstract of the proposed article, to use in our pitches to editors. It does not have to summarize the entire article blow by blow — just a brief overview that piques interest and shows how the article dovetails with the magazine’s editorialmission
4. Approach editors
Next, we send a pitch note with the abstract to the top publication on our list, and give the managing editor 7-10 days to respond. Getting a response often requires a lot of follow-up, but once we receive an answer, we either move to the next publication on the list and follow the same process, or go to step 5. We never pitch more than one editor at a time.
Knowing the magazine’s submission requirements, we write the article. Ensuring that it conforms with the length, formatting, illustration and content guidelines will make the editor’s job easier. Submitting concise, high-quality copy will also lower the likelihood of anyone cutting or otherwise mangling our article.
6. Stay in touch
We submit the article and follow up on progress, especially as the timeline for publication approaches. Responding quickly to editorial questions and requests is a must.
A bylined article can be a useful sales tool, and writing and achieving publication isn’t that hard. Following these steps can help streamline the process of leveraging company knowledge to raise your profile and increase awareness.