The Value Of Lists In Your Brand’s PR Strategy

The Value Of Lists In Your Brand’s PR Strategy

Lists are an effective way to rank companies in your industry, but being on one list and not another now has additional brand connotations. Here's a snapshot of why. Use media intelligence to keep your brand in tip-top shape, so others notice you for future spots on their list.
Steve Olenski
23 November 2016

There are several major lists published each year to highlight the best and most highly regarded companies across the United States, and in specific regions; you know the ones- Forbes, Inc., Business Insider, and Fortune.

But how can a PR team use their company’s place on these lists as a selling point for the business? How can they tap into the prestige of these lists, in particular, to use as part of a PR strategy or marketing tool?

And PR pros are fully aware of the benefits therein. Pam Abrahamsson, CEO, PRA Public Relations says earning a spot on a top list like Forbes is the brand equivalent of a grand slam.“You’ll walk away with four big wins: The credibility of being on a respected list, immediate exposure to new customers, validation among your current customers, and rock-star bragging rights; making a top list proves you are top of your game in your industry.”

The World’s Biggest Media Companies Of 2015

Utilizing Press Releases To Elevate Your Brand

Many PR teams choose to use press releases to get the word out about their company’s inclusion in a major list, but only the most notable, like the ones mentioned above.

Take this example, from a company called doTERRA, celebrating their inclusion in Forbes’ “America’s Best Employers” list. This PR move assigns prestige to Forbes’ lists, and also internally to the company, touting their attractiveness as an employer and success as a business.

A similar example can found by looking at more regional Forbes’ superlatives. One Texas law business was given the title of “Texas Leader in Law”, and promptly made the public aware of this honor. It may seem like bragging, but brands can elevate their image simply by being placed on one of these prestigious business lists.

Which Lists Matter?

Of course, there are many lists that give recognition to exemplary businesses, often published in local magazines and newspapers. Do these lists carry the same value as the more nationally known ones, like Forbes, Inc. and the like?

Not exactly. Unlike these major lists, local and small distribution lists are not vetted unquestionably by readers. Similar to the way that the US News and World Report list almost instantly lends validity to a college or university’s high standing, Forbes, Fortune, and Business Insider lists give unquestioned validity to a business’s claims as a successful and inviting place to work.

Take, for example the Fortune Top 100, ranking the best places to work in any given year. The usual suspects are there, like Google and Apple, but the lesser known companies are automatically elevated by their place on the list.

Smaller Lists… Not So Much

Don’t get me wrong, it’s still an honor for a smaller business to be placed on a “best of” list in their region, and they likely capitalize on that honor by using it in press releases and other PR materials, but the cache that has been developed among the top lists adds an element of ‘street cred’ to a business that is unparalleled among other lists.

Another good example is the Inc. 5000 list, which profiles the fastest growing startups each year. For a startup company to land on this rather large list means that they’ve made it big in their infancy, this can be used in the company’s PR to seem attractive to clients and potential applicants alike.

Capitalizing On A Perceived Status

Whether your company is truly more successful than others in your industry, or just wishes to be seen that way, PR teams are well served by seeking out the endorsement that these lists offer.

How is this achievable? PR teams can study the metrics the Forbes and their competitors use to quantify business climate in a given sector, and improve those qualities in their own business. When the honor is given to their company, PR professionals must capitalize on it immediately by publicizing it in the appropriate arenas.


This article was written by Steve Olenski from Forbes and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.

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