Leverage PR: More mileage from your 15 minutes of fame

Image by Lynn Feldman, enhanced by T. Ponick. (Original via Flickr, CC license 2.0)
Image by Lynn Feldman, enhanced by T. Ponick. (Original via Flickr, CC license 2.0)

WASHINGTON, June 4, 2014 – Congratulations on having an article published in print media that’s all about you and your achievements! By all means, enjoy the positive attention you’re almost certain to get. (Along with a few unwanted sales pitches, alas.)

But don’t let the halo effect of that print piece be the end of it. Here’s how to get more attention for yourself or your business without looking like you’re bragging. First of all, be sure to ask for one or more hard copies of the periodical in which the article appeared—or, at the very least, one or more copies of “tear sheets,” which are simply those pages upon which your article has been printed.

Also, if available, request a PDF of the article and a link to it as well on the publication’s web site. All these are the basic tools you’ll need for repurposing the article to extend your influence.

You or your support staff can now do follow-up, focusing on the tips provided below. These will help you get quick results without the need to have massive search engine optimization or social media skills already set up in house. They’re all easy, and they’re arranged by level of effort: Easy (No Brainer); Easy (Some Effort); Easy (Takes Time).

Easy (No-Brainer)

  • Announce the article on Facebook and/or LinkedIn by thanking the author and adding a link to the piece. If using both, rewrite your announcement for each site you use.
  • E-mail the article to your contacts as a PDF, or send them a link to it along with a cheery note.
  • Add the online link(s) to your email signature.
  • Have the article professionally printed. Distribute it as a handout, part of an info package, or tuck it into orders if you sell products to the public.
  • Pass out copies when you meet people at various events.
  • Include a copy as a handout if you speak or participate in seminars or conferences.
  • Frame a copy and put it on your office wall.

Easy (Some Effort)

  • Provide a link to the article to groups you belong to online.
  • Summarize the article and post it on LinkedIn and any of your other social media networks.
  • If you find another online article related to your topic, leave a comment and a link to your article.
  • Create Tweets: Print out a copy of your article. Get a yellow highlighter. Pretend you’re studying and mark short phrases or sentences that catch your attention. Turn them into Tweets and use bit.ly to link the article to your website.

Easy (Takes Time and Some Effort) 

Even if the article is All About You, you still need to give credit and get permission from the author and/or publisher in order to reuse it in other media. By the way, they will rarely say “No.” Getting more attention is to their benefit—as long as the original author’s and publication’s names are acknowledged either in or at the end of the article.

Additionally, you could decide to create a completely new article on the same topic. If so, however, it’s still a professional courtesy to credit the author of the original piece as a source for your current article. Courtesy still carries a great deal of weight in the publications world, and besides, it’s only fair.


  • Upload the article to your website.
  • Create a video or audio in which you read or talk about your article, and include a link to the article below the video or audio post.
  • Turn the article into a presentation or a speech. You’re an expert already, and your content has already been written, so why not use it? Credit the author for inspiring it.
  • Re-purpose your article content by recording it as a podcast.
  • Break the article into large pieces and rewrite it as blog posts. If you slice and dice your own article to create new work and there’s no resemblance to the published original, you don’t need to give credit.

How to Credit the Author and Publisher of an Article about You

There are myriad Federal laws and complicated academic rules for giving credit when you use other people’s published work, and none of them are addressed here since we’re not licensed attorneys.

Below are the absolute minimum guidelines you can use to show you haven’t ripped off someone else’s work on purpose. It’s a legitimate issue these days, and we all need to be sensitive about it.

  • If you republish the original article elsewhere, and assuming you have permission to do so, put this credit at the beginning or at the end of the article: Example: Originally published in Genius at Work (Summer, 2014)
  • If you quote significant portions of your article directly, put this credit after each quote OR just put it at the end. Example: Source: Genius at Work (Summer, 2014)
  • If you slice and dice an article to create new work and there’s no resemblance whatever to the published original, you generally don’t need to give credit.

Use these legitimate, no-brag ways of extending your 15 minutes of fame another few minutes, or hire someone to do it for you.

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