Ever wonder why some of your competitors frequently seem to get mentions on radio, in newspaper articles, magazine articles, and even occasionally on television (news or local programming)?

Here's a little strategy I've been working on for about 6 months now that has resulted in some great offline mentions, and takes minimal effort.

Here it is in a nutshell:

What You Need:
If you don't already have an account on Digg, get one. Dedicate some time to it though … build a semi-power account if you can. If not, try it anyway

The Concept:
The concept is very simple; we know many magazine editors, newspaper editors, television producers, and radio DJs use Digg, Stumbleupon, etc. Why not? They're looking for interesting ideas, concepts, stories and the like to beat the competition and/or to mention on air. What better place to go than the world's entertainment marketplace.

We're also very fortunate that Google indexes all Digg users, the content of their profile pages, and provides operators to help us refine our searches.

What I'm saying is this; by performing a few specific searches and a bit of leg work, Google will tell us who (not exactly, but with reasonable approximation) the magazine editors are, who the television producers are, who the radio DJs are, and who are newspaper reporters or editors.

Now, imagine taking this list, and making these people your friends on Digg. They're likely to see many of your submissions that way, and possibly use those in their work. If you're very wise, you'll start to develop a closer relationship with these people.

The Process:

    1. Goto Google and type/or click on:
    site:digg.com/users/ magazine -inurl:friends -inurl:history -inurl:gallery

    The first few pages of results are the most relevant … they are people who own or work for magazines, and presumably can have some impact on the content that gets included (hint hint). After the first few pages the results become less useful. If someone has ideas about how to improve or refine this list, I'd love to hear them.

    2. read the description of each search result, and click through to those the appear to be magazine editors or writers.

    3. friend those that are writers or editors of related publications

    4. the further you get into the results, the more selective you need to be.

    5. rinse and repeat the process, substituting any number of terms (some suggested are shown below) for the term 'magazine' in the initial query string.

      a. dj
      b. radio
      c. disc jockey
      d. newspaper
      e. reporter
      f. television
      g. tv
      h. producer

    6. you may also want to consider looking to see if certain media personalities have a personal profile on Digg, using either their real names, or regular personas (eg. JohnnyFever for those old enough to remember WKRP in Cincinnati).

If those you befriend are not accepting of you immediately, improve your Digg profile, unfriend, then try refriending again.

The Results:
Following this process has resulted in numerous offline mentions for a number of our clients. Equally as important though, is the fact that these mentions all lead to increased awareness, and to further perceptions of authority. If the media is talking about a company in a positive light, then that company must be one of the top in their field right (keep in mind … its often more about perception than reailty)?

Obviously, it takes time and effort to further develop these relationships with the media, which is where the real value lies. So once one of these people has befriended you, spend the time to determine exactly what it is they're looking for. Then, do not innnundate them with low quality crap … feed them only the pieces that fit their needs. I've heard Eric Ward talk about this approach before.

And finally, if you're really ambitious, you'll prove to them that you (or your client) are an authority in the realm of the types of things they like to write/talk about so they'll reference you in the future whenever questions about the subject surface, or they're looking for more material. Be careful though … DO NOT misrepresent your knowledge. A misstep in this direction could have serious consequences.

All I ask for this piece of wisdom is this; when you realize success by using it, please add to the comments below and let me know what you were able to accomplish. I'd like to put together a list of case studies, and would likely want to include yours.

Also, please let me know your thoughts, improvement ideas, and the like.