Let’s take a look at a not-uncommon scenario: you are connected with a reporter as an expert source for commentary and quoted in the resulting story. Great, right? Nope. While your name is mentioned, the company’s is conspicuously absent, creating a great deal of angst. This is when I, your trusted media liaison, am rudely awakened from the glow of landing a high-profile placement.
You: The quote is great, but where is the company name? Can you have them add it in to the piece?
Me: This particular publication does not list company names.
You: (Uncomfortable silence and internal stewing) I see. Well, doesn’t that kind of defeat the purpose?
Let’s pause and reflect on the dynamics at play here.
Question 1: Why do some publications list companies and some don’t?
This is a highly publication-specific issue, and it’s governed mainly by each outlet’s internal style guide. Occasionally, a publication goes either way, with the reporter having final say. (This is rare.) As to the underlying reason, one can only assume that space concerns, dating back to the print-first era, are a partial answer. Other outlets and empowered reporters may feel, although never publicly announce, that listing company names is free advertising and dilutes the purity of the editorial content.
Question 2: Can a company name be added to the online version, assuming the print is already on newsstands?
Sometimes, but not often. Media reps can ask, but once this is denied by a reporter/publication, the question should never be posed again. A good communications professional will track which publications do/do not and offer this information up-front. But…
Question 3: If a publication isn’t going to mention my company, do I really want to be quoted in it?
This is a divisive question among PR pros. My answer is an emphatic, “Yes!” Why? Credentialing plus promotion equals positive brand building.
Being quoted in a third-party publication reaching a target audience is one level of promotion. Your name, even if not your associated company, is passing by the eyeballs of clients, potential clients and referral sources.
The next level of promotion is through company platforms – websites (main site and associated blogs) and social media (Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn). Even if the publication did not draw a direct connection between you and your company, these posts will.
The final level is personal promotion. In addition to emailing key contacts (when appropriate and not gauche), you should be posting to LinkedIn (You have one, right?), tweeting/retweeting and even sharing to family and friends on Facebook. Oh, and let’s not forget adding the piece to your company bio.
Consider this ice-cream rooted analogy:
Quote – The ice cream in the sundae.
Company’s name mentioned – The whipped cream.
Title (e.g. “Managing Partner,” “Chair of XYZ Group”) mentioned – The cherry on top.
Put simply: Ice cream > no ice cream. And, sometimes you just have to make your own sundae.
While it can be frustrating to have your company’s name omitted when quoted, through effective promotion and the wonders of the internet, any media mention can be leveraged for maximum impact. Now, why am I craving an ice cream sundae all of the sudden?