Do you and your organization want to be seen as an expert in your industry? After all, nothing strengthens your corporate image – including your product or service – like a clear vision. One of the most powerful tactics to spread your vision is having an opinion article published in the media. But where do you start?
You’ve probably seen many CEOs and industry specialists share their vision in the opinion pages of a newspaper or trade magazine. And maybe you’ve already wished it was you. Well, it could be you. But on top of your own strong vision it also requires a lot of know-how. Read our five insider tips below.
Newspapers almost exclusively publish articles that link directly to a topical interest. That’s why you always need to know which topics are currently being discussed in the media and react very quickly when an opportunity arises. You can only do that if you have the right tools for media monitoring and by listening to the right radio channels at the right moments.
There’s no need to act like a bull in a china shop, but you can always spice it up a little. Whether you bring your opinion across with a bit of humor or with clear indignation depends on your message and your own DNA. Even criticizing a person or organization is allowed, but keep it civilized. A strong opinion isn’t only much more likely to be published, it will also stand out and stick with the reader.
An opinion piece in which you describe or – even worse – promote your product or service doesn’t stand a chance (unless that information is essential for the reader – nevertheless, keep it very short). A specialized copywriter will be able to write down your vision in such a way that the reader will implicitly understand what you can do for him or her. And they’ll be able to find you with a little help from Google.
Great PR and good content go hand in hand. At LVTPR, we’ve known that for many years – which is why we established a dedicated Contentbureau within the LVT Group long ago. If it’s up to Contentbureau, a good opinion piece is razor-sharp yet well-founded, assertive yet constructive, snappy yet intelligent. And most of all: it’s easy to read. You can only achieve this by working with a specialized copywriter who knows exactly how to formulate your opinion to convince editors to publish it.
Now that you’ve got a publication-worthy opinion piece in your hands, the question is: how do you pitch it to the right opinion editor? They can be distrustful: they want good content, but without risking the paper’s independent image. Knowing which media offer the best opportunity and who to turn to, is a big plus. But it doesn’t quite get you there. Because unless the editor recognizes and trusts the news source, your article will most definitely get lost in an overly full mail box. That’s why we – as a PR agency – continuously invest in a good relationship with journalists.
Conclusion: it’s not easy to get an opinion piece published and there’s never a 100% guarantee. Yet we advise every company that strives for thought leadership to believe in these types of articles. They supply your vision with what real thought leadership needs: reach and weight. And even if social media and a lot of money can help you get that reach, when it comes to weight, nothing beats a publication in a tier one or premium medium. If your vision is published in a paper, your audience will believe that your vision is trustworthy and worth reading.
– Johan De Ost, Senior Communications Consultant & Content Creator
–> Now you know: an opinion piece is a specialist job and a matter of quick action when the window opens. At LVTPR, we’ve got the right tools to monitor the news constantly. If we see an opportunity, we’ll immediately line up our opinion team, consisting of a specialized PR consultant and copywriter. One phone call with the customer for the general idea of the article and several hours later the right editor will be reading a razor-sharp opinion piece. Chances are, it will make the final cut. How can we be so sure? Because we’ve got similar experience with companies like DriveNow (in several premium media), XXImo (on Fleet.be), Vinum Et Spiritus (in De Tijd) and Quality by Design (in L’Echo). Want to know what we can do for you? Contact us.
–> Obviously, corporate PR is much more than just creating and pitching opinion pieces. Read more to find out what else we can do for you.