Congratulations. You got an interview in that paper, or that TV show you were targeting. Your mom is impressed, and it can be great for your brand, but don’t waste the full potential. To squeeze all the value from your success, and get some sweet web traffic you need to know best practices on how to leverage a press hit.
How to leverage a press hit
The most obvious way how to leverage a press hit is to publicize it on your website and promote the interview across social media, but you already knew that, right? What you may not know is the pre-work you should do to acquire later search traffic, elevating your online profile, or the post-work to continue to reap the rewards of earned media.
Most people who see your press hit aren’t going to enter your exact website information. Instead, they’re going to do web searches for your company name or details from memory. This means there’s a possibility your hard work and great press hit can actually go to your competition, especially if your competition takes out a Google Ad using your interview information.
If you do a little pre-work, you can get all the benefits out of your hard work. When thinking about how to leverage a press hit, thinking ahead translates to bigger opportunities.
Pre-work: What to do before your press interview
Regarding pre-work, you should lock down all your keyphrases someone may use when searching for you after your interview. Learn some basic SEO practices, or if you lack the time simply create a few Google Ads. I generally discourage wasting money on digital ads, but if time isn’t on your side it may be necessary. You should also create compelling call-to-action landing pages so you don’t plug your general website like a dope. (Guilty!)
Lock down your key phrases
The very first thing you should do before you get a press interview is lock down your key search phrases. How to leverage a press hit is about preparation. Do you sell diamond-studded underwear? Then make sure your brand appears on page one of all search engines for “diamond-studded underwear.” This sounds impossible, but you’d be surprised how fast you can achieve this.
You can buy subscriptions to great SEO tools from companies like SEM Rush, Ahrefs, or Moz, but the fastest tool is to install Yoast if you have a WordPress website. (Squarespace and Wix have tools too, but from my experience, they’re just “meh.”)
Target easy keyphrases
Some key phrases are really hard to take control of. The term “luxury watches” for example has extremely high competition, and taking out an ad for that term would be extremely pricey. That’s why it’s best to identify a specific “longtail” keyphrase that better aligns with your brand, and use that specific phrase during your interview to train the audience on how to search for you.
For example, instead of “luxury watches” you could try “durable luxury watches” or “watches for artists.” More specific phrases are easier to lock down ahead of time and cheaper to buy if you can’t control them quickly. If you’re asking what to do before your press interview, training your audience how to look for you is a big tool.
When your interview comes, just make sure you use the exact phrase you’ve targeted like “watches for artists.” If you want to know how to leverage a press hit without giving traffic to your competition, it’s about audience training. Help them remember you.
Bring A Camera and Take Video “Behind The Scenes”
If there’s one thing search engines and web visitors love its VIDEO! (I don’t do enough. Sorry Patrice!) Simple cell phone video for “behind the scenes” stuff is fascinating for people, and embedding it onto your webpage can get your page to rise through search engines quickly. Not to mention this will be in the right spot.
Cell phone cameras are such high quality these days, and even if you’re a non-pro you can edit with Adobe Premier Rush to clean it up a bit.
If you do have some cash, it might be wise to bring your own small camera crew. During a radio interview with Andrew Yang, he brought a 6-person AV crew with him. They plugged into my board, shot tons of video, and had lighting and audio gear setup. It was damn impressive. It’s not cheap however, here’s a good guide on how to figure out video production cost, and keep in mind if you’re bringing your own crew, ask permission first!
Create compelling call-to-action pages
When concluding an interview the worst way to conclude is to give out your main company webpage. Unless someone needs your specific product or service right now, they won’t visit your website. Some journalists may not even want you to. I’ve made this mistake more time than I can count on all my fingers and toes. The better way is to give them a resource on your webpage. A “call to action.” (CTA)
When I conclude an interview, Clubhouse panel, or even my own podcast as of late, the CTA that has been most effective is my 10-day press guide for emerging tech and entrepreneurs. It gets you more press in just 10 days. For your company, it could be a tool, an assessment, a giveaway, an eBook, free consulting, and you-name-it. You can buy a unique URL that directs to your page as well.
Going back to our watch example, when thanked, you can simply say “I’m so happy to be on your show, in the next 24 hours your audience can win a free watch at watchforartists.com. Having a specific call to action ahead of time is how to leverage a press hit.
Even if you don’t do any of this, or your interview time is past, don’t lose hope. You can do a lot of great post-work as well.
Post-work: What to do before your press interview
Regarding post-work, it’s important to have some page on your website that documents the interview in some fashion. This way, people looking for you know they found the right page. But also, it’s a great marketing tool and wonderful for search engine ranking.
You and your team can stretch your interview value by creating transcript content, republishing the interview, writing a webpage summary, and creating a new page originating from each question asked on the interview are huge opportunities that will get you in front of more people. Focusing on how to leverage a press hit is also about follow-up.
Create a transcript of your press interview
One value-add, and incredible SEO bonus, is creating a transcript of the entire interview. If you have an executive assistant or staffer with downtime, this is a fantastic way for them to learn the business, but if not, there are low-cost transcript alternatives. You could use Fiverr and UpWork, but my favorite transcription tool is Rev. Rev has various cost-points, including automated transcription, but my favorite tool is their personal touch service for $1.25 per audio minute.
By creating a transcript article after the interview, you’re creating search engine friendly, content, but also an additional value add for the hearing impaired, or people who are visual learners. (I’ve heard from listeners that have asked for transcripts for particular guests like this one I made for my interview with Jory Des Jardins.)
Republish the interview on your own channel
How to leverage a press hit afterward is by ensuring it lives on in perpetuity. It’s wise to embed the interview, video, or even a paragraph from the interview onto your own website, but you can do even more. After a Bloomberg interview on behalf of my client, I requested a copy of the entire interview promising to link to their show and source them accurately. They agreed and sent me the entire interview.
I proceeded to publish the interview to my client’s website, linking back to their original show. And, it’s important to note, my client outranked Bloomberg for that specific show topic! (It’s a good thing I did this because they ended up cleaning the page years later.)
Write a webpage summary
If you can’t create a transcript (a written interview for example), can’t post the video, and have no audio, you can still create some online content by writing a webpage summary of your interview. You can basically, write a 700-word recap of what happened, the overall topic, and be specific on the value you provided the particular publication and audience.
When I’m asked how to leverage a press hit, this is by far the easiest thing anyone can do even with no time and no budget. I’d encourage you to post photos or screenshots from your experience, but stock photos from Shutterstock (I love their $29 monthly subscription plan) or Getty Images can work. Using Unslash, Gratisography and Pexels are free alternatives.
Write a new blog post from every topic
Don’t forget, each question or topic on your interview is a great piece of content for your website. From a search standpoint, great content is KING, and the best way to separate great content from crappy content is to listen to the topics that interest consumers. Journalists are great at this. So if they’re asking questions, it’s wise to target those questions as individual blog posts. This is how to come up with new story ideas for your website by the way. I utilize this same strategy for Clubhouse. (Which is what inspired this entire post BTW.)
How To Leverage A Press Hit: Final Thoughts
Preparation is key when considering how to leverage a press hit. Even seasoned PR professionals put zero value on search engine optimization (SEO) and the ease with which customers can find you online. Many are content simply getting you the interview.
Your work doesn’t stop when you get the interview, however. Promote the heck out of it, and build as much online content you possibly can. This will ensure people keep finding you for months and perhaps years to come.