Writing company op-eds is tricky. All it takes is a misplaced company mention or a fluffy executive quote, and your op-ed is branded an advertorial.
But there is an exception.
Earlier this week, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution published Business-friendly pays off by Sander Daniels of Thumbtack.com, a company whose tagline reads, “we believe there’s a better way to hire local service professionals.”
The op-ed topic: Is Atlanta friendly toward small businesses? The piece is chock-full of local data from a recent small business survey called The Thumbtack.com National Small Business Survey, conducted in partnership with The Kauffman Foundation.
Wait. A Thumbtack.com byline and a Thumbtack.com-sponsored survey? Sounds a lot like self-promotion
Savvy strategy is more like it.
1. Hire a Third-Party Research Firm. The Kauffman Foundation is dedicated to furthering entrepreneurship. Because Thumbtack.com hired Kauffman to conduct the survey and tabulate the results (vs. Thumbtack.com doing it on their own and potentially skewing results in their favor), the findings now have more legitimacy. From the media’s POV, the results are considered reliable.
2. Slice & Dice Survey Findings. Thumbtack’s PR pros obviously localized the survey findings and then served up Atlanta-specific results as part of an op-ed pitch to AJC. And therein lies the beauty of surveys like this. You slice & dice the data to pitch story/op-ed ideas in virtually any location where your target market live/eats/breathes/works.