27 Mar How to Use Medium for PR
By: Cat Ku
Content has always been a core part of what we do at LaunchSquad, but never more so than now. We’re always looking for ways to create and spread stories beyond traditional channels like publications, company blogs, Twitter or Facebook. Enter Medium, a platform founded by Twitter’s Evan Williams that’s quickly becoming a way for content producers cut through the social media chatter with quality, in-depth material.
Medium combines the best of social media—Blogger’s length, Twitter’s reach and WordPress’ DIY ethos—to enable authors to broadcast quality content to a wide network of followers. Posts can be as short as 140 characters or as long as 14,000, but regardless, the focus is on the story. And for PR teams with stories to tell, it’s a powerful channel we should be leveraging.
Why Use It
Audience: Since Medium requires a Facebook or Twitter account to log in, you already have an existing audience with some familiarity with your brand—a solid foundation on which to grow your following. You can also publish to specific “collections,” targeting influencers and followers interested in your subject who may not have heard from you yet.
Quality engagement and collaboration: By requiring commenters to attach accounts and names to their responses, Medium encourages thoughtful conversation and discourages trolling. Since readers can comment on anything from the entire post to single sentences, the conversation can be as broad or granular as you like. You can also comment or edit privately similar to GoogleDocs, allowing for easy collaboration with clients as you’re shaping the story.
Analytics: Medium offers visibility into a number of analytics you usually don’t see for bylines placed in publications. These include pageviews, number of reads, read ratio, recommendations and referrers for all social platforms on which the story appears.
Simplicity: There’s no messing with widgets or extensions here. Medium’s intuitive, user-friendly interface delivers content that’s, well, pretty and easy to look at.
What to Use It For
Announcements: Press releases can feel impersonal when they’re sent to hundreds of outlets over the wire. But companies like Secret and Tesla are using Medium for as an opportunity to speak more directly and intimately to both media and readers. Tesla’s announcement for a new titanium shield for its cars was signed “- Elon,” from CEO Elon Musk. Using gifs, Tesla also took advantage of Medium’s easy integration of images and text to help readers visualize a highly technical new feature.
Building personal brands: The company blog is still an important platform for cultivating clients’ voices, but content appears more organic when not surrounded by overt corporate branding. Medium’s democratic ethos is especially helpful in building a personal brand for a CEO, who, like everyone else, is just another user. Hootsuite CEO Ryan Holmes and 99dresses founder and CEO Nikki Durkin were human and relatable when Holmes posted about the business lessons he learned running a pizza place and when Durkin recounted the failure of her startup. Beyond thought leadership, Medium can also be a forum to share important narratives that don’t always get top billing in the media, such as Munchery’s “Chef Chronicles.”
Engaging in timely, wider conversation: We all know bylines don’t get placed in a day. But when news often gets old in the same amount of time, Medium’s self-publishing feature allows you to share clients’ input—especially on topics tangential to their brand that might not be a good fit for the company blog—before the trending conversation passes. Since Medium’s groups related content in “collections,” you can also see where a certain point of view fits into broader perspectives.
Experimentation: Medium started as an experiment in genre and publishing and continues to evolve, most recently with the addition of editorial content written by an in-house team. In this spirit, it’s a low-risk, high-reward platform for producing and testing quality content to captivate audiences and grow brands.
Image c/o The Physical Educator