We love building our relationships with journalists – not only because they are a lovely bunch, but also because it means that we are at the front of the queue when they are looking for experts to provide commentary on a range of subjects. Expert comments are the pearls of wisdom shared by industry spokespeople in articles and blogs to help provide credence to a piece, and to establish a brand or person as a reliable source of information in a certain field. They can range from quotes to full pieces of coverage, and are increasingly key to PR.
Over the past year or so we have noticed a huge increase in journalists looking for experts to provide commentary or advice pieces. These can range from a review of the top plants for a shady garden, to how to deal with a water-logged lawn, to how to properly prune a hydrangea! Once we have spoken with a journalist about what they need, we assess which of our clients would be best suited to provide the comment, and work with them to draft it.
Providing expert commentary is an excellent brand-positioning exercise, showing a client’s authority on a subject and building trust in the brand. So, a plant pot company, for example, may want to comment on how to create an effective windowsill display or grow herbs. This brand-building helps to build credibility and cement a company in people’s minds when they think about a certain task or product.
There are additional benefits to expert commentary, too. Most pieces will be online, and many of these will provide a backlink to the brand’s website, so it is a strong digital PR tactic to help build a backlink profile.
As a PR agency, one of our tasks is to work with the journalist and provide an often very fast turn-around – it is not unusual for this deadline to be just a few hours!
We also plan and draft expert commentary on behalf of our clients to leverage any schedule events such as awareness days, that can be slotted into our plans ahead of time. This puts us and our clients one step ahead, providing journalists with useful information and content before they even ask for it! Not only that, but we also keep track of significant and relevant weather events, for example, and provide newsworthy tips and insightful opinions to capitalise on these occasions and events to gain media attention and as a result, enhance the brand’s visibility.
In just the past few months we have used this to great effect for our client Cobra, for whom we secured expert commentary with Ideal Home, Daily Express, Woman and Home, The Mirror, Huffington Post and Homes & Gardens, to name just a few! This activity effectively positions Cobra as a credible authority on lawn-related matters and encourages journalists to keep them in mind save for future articles, leading to additional opportunities for similar requests.
If you’re interested in finding out how we can help build your brand using expert commentary, get in touch today to find out more!