How to promote your organization without drawing editorial ire

Promotional material will always put your guest post in the rejection pile. Here’s how to steer thought leadership articles away from marketing while keeping leadership happy.

It’s very tempting to try and get promotional content into your thought leadership piece.

However, whether it’s data from your platform or a plug for your service, editors will cut it—or worse—it will cause the publication to reject the piece completely.

Many editors won’t accept content from anyone with a sales title because they have such an issue with promotional content. After all, they are called the free press for a reason: objectivity.

Given this contentious issue, here are a few tips to help guide content away from being promotional while keeping your clients happy.

Place content about an offering before its public release.

The best way to promote your client’s business is to write offer insights about an industry development that hasn’t been released yet.

If a report isn’t in the market yet, the piece talking it up won’t be flagged as promotional. For example, if you are a marketer who is about to release an artificial intelligence product, you have until that press release goes out to write about AI.

Therefore, while you’re planning the product’s roll out, slate some contributed content pieces to be drafted and placed ahead of the big release date. By the time the product comes out, some of your messaging will already be out there—under your name.

Take a stance on an important industry issue.

Editors really like when executives take a strong stance on an issue.

This is great opportunity to take advantage of your client’s most opinionated executive—and let them argue for their viewpoint. Taking a stance always drives a conversation and gets your content plenty of clicks and shares.

The clicks and shares keep editors happy, and of course, readers will check out who the person making this stance is which will lead them back to your client’s website to learn about what they offer.

Get some third-party validation.

If the executive team is insistent on having promotional content in a byline, suggest that a client or partner author a piece talking about your client. It can’t completely promotional, but it can and should discuss the benefits of using the services the client offers.

Most importantly, it can describe how your client positively affected their business. They could share a list of their favorite tools which could include your client’s product, or offer a case study for how your client revolutionized their business model.

Promotional content only gets accepted one time out of hundreds regardless of the publication editors work for. Thought leadership pieces are places to talk about the expertise you have in your industry. If what you are saying is smart, it will drive people to check out your company or client.

What are your tips for getting promotional tidbits into your bylines, PR Daily readers?

Caroline Yodice is a Senior Account Executive at SourceCode Communications.

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