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How are agencies able to get someone “featured” on sites like business insider and yahoo business?

So I just had a marketer solicit me that for X dollars he can get me featured on all sorts of different large sites, which I can then in turn flip for social proof in my marketing.

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So I just had a marketer solicit me that for X dollars he can get me featured on all sorts of different large sites, which I can then in turn flip for social proof in my marketing. I’m actually familiar with this tactic with startups who pay marketing companies to blast their crappy product all over the place so they can have a long list of “featured on....”

I always just assumed it was a paid program where you pay someone like Business Insider 1k and they’ll host whatever fucking article you want, so you can turn around and use it as social proof.

But upon doing research, I can’t find a single thread of discussion on how this niche marketing technique is done. The only discussions are about how to do it the “legit” way of convincing a reporter to cover you, rather than the other advertising way. Anyone familiar?
It's all about who you know and your ability to hire someone who knows the media representatives.

Reporters need stories almost as much as you need exposure. There are people (PR Agents) who make it their business to ingratiate themselves to reporters and publications via many different avenues.

While it's not a direct pay for play relationship, there is an entertainment aspect to it.

For example, at a previous company I coordinated a big product launch with multiple PR agencies. We hired one agency who specialized in Tech and one who specialized in Lifestyle. They helped craft the story of our product and arranged:

Participation at an exclusive table top media only event in NYC and SF on a fancy hotel rooftop with 10 other companies. There was plenty of nice food and drinks and about 100 reporters & bloggers showed up. The "premier" media people were hand led to our table by a PR expert who knew the reporters from Forbes, Yahoo, CNet, Good Housekeeping, etc. The rest circulated around for a few hours, asking questions about products, taking photos, etc.

Individual meetings between our CEO and premier media at an exclusive one on one event. Half hour meetings all day, about 15-20 publications.

Larger tabletop events before big trade shows like CES, where only press and manufacturers are allowed, ~100 manufacturers each with a table and probably 500 reporters and a ton of gourmet food and drinks.

Representation at Trade Shows, our PR rep would make appointments with major publications through existing relationships and hand walk them to our booth, cutting through the clutter and getting the media the attention of the right individual (me) who got them directly to the CEO/CTO for an interview.

All told, we probably spent around $250k between all the event fees, agency fees, travel, etc.

It is worth it? As part of a larger marketing and communication strategy, hell yes. In a vacuum, probably not.

Essentially, hire someone who has made a reputation for not wasting the media's time, providing solid stories, and throwing a good party and the major media players will always take their call.

Other points

This isn't niche marketing, this is like....this is pretty standard. In fact, you can pay a PR agency with a specialty in your niche who has all of the relationships established to just take care of this for you so that you can bypass paying $1000 per article and just pay the agency themselves $4000 a month to get you a write up on as many outlets as possible.

This is just how its done. I'm honestly a little floored that you haven't been exposed to this before. Maybe this is my age showing, but PR is usually treated as an extension of marketing. For example, when I launch a new product, I will run a full influencer/social media PPC campaign and e-mail marketing campaign, but I'll have the PR agency or in-house PR professional reach out to several publications in order to announce the launch before it officially drops so that there's a knowledge/social proofing of the product at the same time as the launch.

We often pay for articles for clients, using plugs we have in different websites, but it's not that easy. You still need a reputation before the likes of Forbes, Entrepreneur, or even Inc will feature you. (Normally 3-4 lower level articles)
It'll still set you back a pretty dollar, a lot more than $1000.

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July 8, 2020 at 8:22:17 PM

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