If you’ve received an endorsement or been mentioned in a news story, congratulations! What’s the first thing you should do?
If you said, “Share a link on social media!” think again. You’re missing out on some key opportunities.
What’s Wrong With That?
There are several drawbacks to sending people to a website other than yours. The first is that nothing good can happen on someone else’s website. They can’t donate. They can’t subscribe. They can’t volunteer. They might read a few sentences of the article or watch a minute or two of video but that’s probably it.
But something even worse could happen – and I’ve seen it on at least one occasion. I saw a candidate use a link to a NH Union Leader article as a paid ad on Facebook. When you clicked through to the article, the first thing you saw was an advertisement for the candidate’s opponent! It was a really dumb move by the candidate and a really smart move by their opponent.
Finally, you don’t get the opportunity to frame the content in exactly the way that you want. That’s going to be up to the writer and editor and it will be done according to what they think is the most newsworthy and not necessarily the way you’d like it presented.
What to Do Instead
You obviously want to take advantage of the earned media. The best way to do that is to add a blog post on your website (yes, you need a website) that frames the story the way you want and provides a link to the source article or video (in some cases you can actually embed the video on your website).
This fixes all of the problems mentioned in the previous section. You get to frame the story exactly the way you want and to emphasize the points that are most important to you. You also get the opportunity for other good things to happen.
Consider the screenshot below. It’s a post about the Union Leader endorsement of my campaign in 2017. In addition to the framing, let’s count all of the other good things on the page that aren’t on the UL website:
- [Not Pictured] While my campaign was active, I had a pop-up form for donations.
- My Facebook feed is shown in the right column, which might result in more followers.
- There’s a link to purchase campaign merchandise.
- There’s a list of recent posts that people may read.
- At the bottom of the article, there’s a sign-up form to subscribe to my newsletter.
- There’s a comments section where readers and constituents can engage.
Whenever possible, make it a priority to send traffic to your own website instead of somebody else’s. It’s all upside and no downside!