Congratulations, you just got a story written about your company in a prestigious publication. Just don’t assume anyone that matters is actually going to read it.

Not in the actual magazine, anyway. While many important people may see it, I never make this assumption. Decision-makers are busy people. They skim through publications — if they have time for them at all. In many cases, publications pile up and eventually get tossed.

But that doesn’t mean that your PR efforts have failed. To the contrary. You now have third party credibility. You can capitalize on your clip. This is where the real value comes into play. “Yet for many organizations, that’s where it ends,” writes Tech Image PR wizard Ken Krause in the latest issue of PR Intelligence Report. “The article is lauded the day it appears, passed around to those who need to know, and then summarily forgotten…”

Krause urges us to make the most of these articles — strengthening our market credibility and enabling the sales force. How so? Here are five great suggestions he offers:

  • Tell Everyone You Know. If the article is available online, send it out with a link to the publication to prospects and customers, letting them know about this valuable information. Better yet, distribute it to the sales force with an intro and let them use it to create a point of contact with prospects and customers.
  • Place It on Your Web Site. The day the article appears you’ll want to place a link to it on your Web site – preferably on the front page… You want visitors to realize right away that when your experts speak, the industry listens.
  • Consider Getting Reprints. A nice piece of glossy paper with the magazine’s masthead appearing over your expert’s words is a nice leave-behind on sales calls, and a great handout at trade shows and other events.
  • Include It in Your Newsletter (and Talk About It in Your Blog). You can reprint the text with a mention that the article originally appeared in XYZ publication. It’s one more way to get the information directly into the hands of the people who need to know about your organization’s expertise the most, namely your customers, partners, and prospects.
  • Frame It and Place It in the Lobby. Obtain a crisp, clean copy of the publication and have someone with an artistic bent remove the article carefully from the rest of the magazine. Then get it matted and framed and hang it in a spot in the lobby or entryway where every visitor may see it.

Smart companies recognize they can increase the payoff on their thought leadership marketing activities by actively leveraging the content they create. That certainly includes content that provides an independent source of credibility.

So don’t let a valuable clip go down the memory hole. “The important thing is to make sure you get all the mileage you can from it,” says Krause. “Handled properly, a byline article will be the gift that keeps on giving.”