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Why You Need to Craft Bylines If You Aren’t Already (and How to Get Them Placed)

By Carolyn Linck, VP and Nancy Blair, Content VP

One common theme we hear in new business pitches and annual client planning meetings is that brands – whether a B2B software company or a consumer brand – want to raise the profile of their executives. They want their leaders to be seen as leaders more broadly in the industry. To support that goal, they want to get their POV out there.  While there will always be a shiny new platform, a Clubhouse to join so to speak, one tried and true tactic remains very effective: contributed articles, or “bylines.”

The AP defines a byline simply as something that identifies the author of an article. In the PR realm, bylines are pieces of contributed content that are a sturdy tool when it comes to building an executive’s profile. Bylines give executives and subject matter experts a microphone for topics they are passionate about. Sharing your POV on a hot topic through a byline or op-ed allows you to insert yourself and your company into a trending conversation and demonstrate domain expertise to your peers, customers or prospects.

  • An earned byline ensures you’re in control of your message while leveraging the credibility of a third-party platform to reach a broad audience. Publishing a byline in a media outlet lends credibility to the piece, as it signifies that a neutral, third party thought your perspective was worth sharing. You earned an editor’s attention, and approval. That’s a benefit that your own social media channels or self published blog posts can’t always match.
  • “Paid” bylines supplement and strengthen company news announcements and drive visibility outside of milestone moments. By coupling a company announcement with a byline in a publication’s syndicated content program, you’re able to further explain the why behind the product launch, research study or the like, reinforcing the importance of the work you and your team are doing. 

Whether earned or paid, there are several elements that are key to placement. Most importantly, remember that you are telling a story, and seeking readers for that story. Start with a timely topic on which you can offer a unique point of view, demonstrating authority on the subject – that’s why your readers should listen to you. Dig deep for the insights and examples that differentiate you. Generic information will get you nowhere with an editor, or with an audience. 

Most publications will have established style and length guidelines that clearly spell out what they are looking for, including word count, citation format and more. For earned pieces, the single biggest caution is to stay away from marketing-speak that points directly back to your company’s product or service.

Here at Access, we work with many of our clients on byline programs that can help ease the heavy lifting. Collaboration is key to success. And it’s the fun part. Want to learn more? Contact us.