Reach Your Passive Audience

by David D. Menzies

Advertising is an excellent way to reach prospects and customers who already have it in their head that they need to buy a product or service like yours. It is also a good way to help enhance branding and drive awareness of your business name, logo, etc. However, today’s consumer has continued to insulate his or herself from the onslaught of advertising messages both mentally and through technology; you can now pause live TV and then fast-forward through commercials, and skip or close online pop-up ads which, by most accounts, are considered more annoying than helpful. If a target audience is actively avoiding advertising messages, the challenge then becomes how to get in front of them to initiate a desire to buy.

In print and electronic media outlets, what is surrounded by ads?

The answer is editorial content – this is the area to target with strategic messaging.


Working to place your strategic messaging within news stories, feature articles, opinion pieces, and radio and TV reports to instill a want or need for your products or services is the crux of effective public relations, especially for passive audiences. Developing a strong value proposition for reporters is key to convince them it is worth their while to discuss issues with you in their specific media outlets establishing you and your business as an authority on matters of interest to readers and to ignite within them a desire or need for your products or services; after all, how can they know they need your help if they aren’t reading or hearing about it in a valued news resources?

The penetration of your strategic messaging into content itself, which has a long shelf life, enables you to track which news outlets will be featuring your business and to refer to articles well after they have been published, reaching even more new audiences. This is a great advantage over online advertising, which does not always appear in the right media at the right time, and sometimes features competitors’ ads. Additionally, with online news coverage, your story can appear in dozens of outlets online and in print because of the unique ownership structure of media conglomerates, thus your message can reach multiple audiences through the same article.

Getting your strategic messaging into editorial content allows you to control how, when, and where your message is delivered via articles people are seeking out in trusted third-party media, which holds more credibility than claims in print and online advertising. Prospective customers who had no idea they needed your products or services before they began reading, watching, or listening to their favorite news outlets will suddenly become interested — thanks to your strategic messaging — while gaining belief in the integrity of you and your business.

David D. Menzies is president of Global Media Strategies, an innovative media relations and online publishing firm. He is a 22+ year public relations professional with expertise in strategic messaging, publicity and branding. For more information visit www.gmsinnovate.com.