If you’re looking for a way to get your company’s name in the news and you’re unhappy with your news release results, you may want to consider writing a bylined article.
An article written by a representative of your company is called a bylined article. The “byline” is the place where it says “By _________” and lists the author’s name. A bylined article can be about trends or tips related to your industry: “How to Rid Your Home of Fleas,” or it may be an explanation of an industry process: “How Stock Brokers Earn Their Commissions.” Because it will be journalistic in nature, a bylined article should take into account the broader issues relating to your customers or your industry. It cannot be obviously self-serving, and in fact should not mention your company name (except at the brief bio after the article) unless it also includes the names of your nearest competitors. Any appearance of company bias may quash your chance of the article being published.
Usually a company’s public relations representative will probably write all of the bylined articles. However, members of your top management team have the credentials to come off as industry authorities, so they should be credited as the author.
Submit the article (with a cover letter) to your press contacts, but make sure you’ve first received and reviewed a copy of the publication’s writer’s guidelines, and adhere to these strictly. Some publications prefer not to receive simultaneous submissions, so try to determine the publication most likely to generate the publicity you want and send it there first. If they do not publish it, send it elsewhere. The process of sending and waiting for acceptance can take a while, so if an article you’ve written is especially timely and time sensitive, consider sending a query letter first.
Used appropriately, the bylined article can be an important tool in your PR toolkit.
This article reprinted with permission from Yvonne Meacham Buchanan, http://www.careers-in-public-relations.com.