Use Comments to Increase Your Visibility

by Gini Dietrich April 5th, 2012 


I'm not a search expert. I won't even pretend to be one. But what I am is a communication expert.

Because of my expertise, I have a few tips on how to increase your visibility with bloggers, business, or trade media.

It used to be you'd have to hire a PR firm, with an extensive Rolodex full of journalists, producers, and assignment editors. You wanted them to help you get stories about your business, product, or service.

Those of us in the industry spent years developing relationships with these people on the phone, over coffee, and in person.

But then the economy blew up. And everything began to move toward digital. And newspapers went out of business. And the people we spent years creating friendships with, the people who could do stories for us, lost their jobs.

Because of that, many of us no longer have extensive Rolodexes. And, let's be real, it's easier to create relationships with people, around the globe, than it used to be. Because of the web, there is a MUCH more efficient way to do your own media relations without the help of a communication professional (and you can hire a PR firm for much more strategic challenges).

At Arment Dietrich, we call it the very cleverly named "response campaign."

Your Own Response Campaign

Essentially it's commenting on blogs, articles, and editorials where you have expertise.

You see, reporters are as time crunched as we are and most of them are doing the job of three experts. So they don't have time for the long lunches and coffee dates and editorial meetings of old.

But what they do have time to do is read the comments people have left on their content.

I know. I know. You're going to tell me you don't have time to comment.

The Response Campaign Plan

So here is what I want you to do: Choose one newspaper, magazine, or blog that makes a difference in your industry. It can be Wall Street Journal or it can be one of your trade publications. Choose just one.

Then, once a week, comment on one article, blog post, or editorial. If you disagree, fantastic! Say so. But do it professionally.

Keep this up. After about six weeks, the reporter will feel like he or she is beginning to know you and will call you for a story in the works.

Every quarter add another publication, so you have four that you focus on each year.

Don't be afraid to go after the big publications, either, if you feel like your expertise adds value to the stories they're reporting.

If you are consistent and post intelligent comments once a week, you'll soon have developed relationships with reporters who call on you when they need someone to interview.

Trust me when I say it works. This is what I did with Steve Strauss at USA Today. And it worked. Really, really well (see here and here).

But, don't worry, if you still insist you don't have time, we can do the response campaign for you. But, rather than comment as you, we find the articles, summarize it, write some key messages, and then leave the rest to you.

Gini Dietrich

Gini Dietrich is the founder and CEO of Arment Dietrich, a Chicago-based integrated marketing communication firm. She is the author of the PR and marketing blog Spin Sucks, the founder the professional development site for PR and marketing pros, Spin Sucks Pro, and co-author of the forthcoming Marketing In the Round. 

Spin Sucks

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2 Responses to “Use Comments to Increase Your Visibility”

  1. Magnus says:

    You're right in a lot of ways and I do try to leave a comment when I find something in my area that I like. However, being a blogger myself, I don't like it when it's part of a "campaign". I do appreciate comments as much as anyone else but having the biggest blog in my country on SEO, the amount of useless comments increased fast for a while. Ok, it's a small problem but annoying to know that people use you only to promote themselves.