More and more of us are getting our news through so-called "incidental exposure." That's the term E-contentmag.com uses to describe how people come across news serendipitously, while they are surfing the web or clicking on links suggested by someone they know.
Consider your own experience when you see a link to a story from a friend or in a Tweet from someone you follow. You weren’t looking for it. You weren’t even on a news site, but you click on the link and, presto, you're now reading or watching the story.
The impact from a media relations and public relations perspective is to understand that it's not enough simply to get a story placed with a newspaper or broadcast outlet. That story then needs to be shared with friends and followers who would otherwise never see it. The process might go something like this:
Third, you write a blog post about the story along with some commentary and include a link.
Fourth, you Tweet about your blog post.
Fifth, you post new Facebook and LinkedIn updates with a link to your blog post.
Sixth, you send out an email blast containing a link to the story or a link to your blog post (or both) and encourage your list recipients to send it to the people on their lists.
Seventh, you include a mention in your newsletter along with a link to the story as well as your blog post and ask that recipients of the newsletter forward a copy to their friends.
There are other steps you could take, but that's a good start. The goal is to get the link in front of as many people as possible.
It all starts with a news story, but the process of link sharing never really ends. Bottom line, we need to reach people where they are and however they get their news.