Get Your Business Liked Outside Facebook
February 28, 2011 by Mary Ellen
Today’s post focuses on an oft-overlooked traditional visibility opportunity, the op ed. What is it?
According to Wikipedia:
An op-ed, abbreviated from opposite the editorial page (though often believed to be abbreviated from opinion-editorial), is a newspaper article that expresses the opinions of a named writer who is usually unaffiliated with the newspaper’s editorial board.
Timing is essential. The op-ed gives a CEO the opportunity to make a point around a news event or situation, a topic of interest or some trend affecting the population.
Op-ed pieces offer tremendous advantages. Your opinion prominently displayed in a print publication is credibility. It is good publicity for you and your company.
There are a couple of disadvantages, however. Lead time is important. Even though your submission may be tied to news of the day, most publications have a longer deadline imposed on op-ed pieces.
The preparation could prove daunting if you are not a good writer. The New York Times receives thousands of op-ed submissions weekly, so getting to the top of the list involves more than mere chance.
You’ll need to present or pitch your idea to the editor ahead of time. Such a presentation ensures the work involved is not in vain. If the editor likes the idea he/she will likely give you a green light and outline requirements for the piece. Local editors often prefer op-eds submitted from their region.
If you believe you have the perfect topic, draft an article of 750 words or less.
- Make a single point. The op-ed gives voice to your opinion on how to improve matters.
- Use a personal voice and define why readers should care.
- Write with active sentences.
- Tie the opening and the conclusion together.
- Make your most important point first and use the balance of the discussion to support it.
- Call for action. Offer solutions or ask for support.
Good writing is important to your effort. If your writing needs work, find a freelancer who can help. The end result could be well worth the investment.
Once published, here are six ways to use your op-ed for further visibility:
- Get reprints from the publication and send them/offer them to your present/prospective clients.
- Link to the article from your website.
- Tweet your success and link to the article; post an update on Facebook about it as well.
- Write an introductory paragraph about your op-ed and link to it from other sources.
- Revise and expand the op-ed for a white paper for your company.
- Publish information about the op-ed in your company newsletter.
These suggestions leverage content to reach multiple audiences. It works. Try it for yourself.
When did you last approach a newspaper editor with an idea for a column?