Members of the Westfourth leadership team each have more than two decades of experience in strategic media relations and persuasive content development. We work closely with our clients to craft just the right approach to allow organizations to achieve their communications goals. Interestingly, it may even be a communications tactic you hadn’t considered that would produce the best results.
Clients often request to place op-eds and guest columns in established news sources – counting on the “bump” you get from the legitimacy the publication lends to the placed article. Unfortunately, writing and placing opinion pieces is very challenging and not for those who just want a quick win.
The competition for a small amount of opinion and guest column space is fierce. Editors review an ever-increasing number of submissions looking for content that’s timely, relevant and that fits well with the audience of the publication. Add to those requirements that the writing must be on point and that most publications only consider pieces from well-known industry leaders, and it’s a pretty challenging task.
Our best advice to organizations who hope to leverage bylined articles and guest columns to get their messages across is to invest in ongoing communications efforts that drive heightened brand awareness while demonstrating the true urgency of the issues they are working to champion. In other words, if you’re not willing to commit to ongoing communications campaigns to keep your brand top-of-mind, it’s unlikely that op-eds and guest columns will help advance your cause.
For example, the Westfourth team has worked for more than four years to build a strong, reputable position for The Council for Medicare Integrity (CMI). The CMI campaign leverages a variety of traditional PR tactics paired with lobbying support and engaging social media tactics to educate consumers and policymakers about the importance of Medicare billing accuracy. This effort has allowed CMI to become a well-known advocacy organization working to champion the Medicare program, and as a result, is sought after by press for comment. In turn, CMI has been successful in placing op-ed submissions in a variety of publications.