By Stephanie Soldo

Opinions can be scary. There’s a reason we avoid them at Thanksgiving dinner (or on first dates). They can ostracize and provide us quick judgmental wands to decide who can be our friends and who can’t.

Well, if opinions are scary among friends and family, imagine how they must feel among businesses. When a corporate name is involved, suddenly it isn’t a friendship at stake, it’s a client. One wrongfully slipped comment and a long-standing business relationship can be severed.

For this reason, companies might not be eager to publish what is known as an Opinion Editorial (or an Op-Ed) for their PR needs. But if you are a business in this position, we want you to reconsider, and here are three reasons why:

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  1. Op-Eds are PERSONAL. When someone hears an intimate account from a business, they are invited inside their home. They will see where you live and catch a glimpse as to where you are coming from. With this invitation comes an increase of trust, and trust will strengthen any relationship, whether the two parties agree with each other or not.
  2. Op-Eds offer a CONNECTION that can be a jumping off point for new clients. Imagine Sarah, who has a year-old Beagle, is reading through the newspaper for a grooming service. She might see ten beautiful ads claiming their puppy-hair-care to be the best in the world and she might pick one at random. But if she stumbled into the Opinion section and found an article from Doggy Do-Good on how upset they are certain chemicals are used in canine shampoos, Sarah might suddenly feel a connection to Doggy Do-Good.
  3. Op-Eds can be a platform for a business’s STORY. And we have been building relationships through stories since we lived in caves. They are the deepest thread of the human experience, and they should celebrated and not be feared.

Next time you are wondering what kind of press would help give your company the extra edge you are looking for, consider writing an Opinion Editorial. At the very least, it will be better than having to listen to Aunt Linda talk about donkeys and elephants over apple pudding.

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