Many companies make half-hearted efforts in the area of public relations, then wonder why they don’t have more success. The truth is, when your material doesn’t run, the fault rarely lies with the editors that you’ve sent it to. A successful P/R campaign takes more than a half-hearted attempt. Thinking of the trade media as a “customer” whose requirements must be met will go a long way in getting your materials published. If you follow these tips you’ll have a greater chance for P/R success!
Think of your press release as one entry in a competition.
Editors and art directors working for trade journals have standards. They can recognize a quality piece of work – and an amateur effort. If they have to choose between several articles, it goes without saying that the best written, most engaging article, with the most visually interesting artwork will make it to the top of the pile. With only so much space available in each issue for editorial, you can’t afford not to make your release and its accompanying artwork sizzle.
Send the message that you’re serious about P/R.
Print a “press release masthead” – a unique stationary that identifies the release or article as having come from your company and that will eventually become recognizable by the trade media. The masthead says to editors, “this company is serious about P/R – therefore, this piece must be newsworthy.”
Hire an industrial marketing communications specialist to be your media representative.
They should already be working with the trade publications you’re targeting with your P/R and have a network of contacts. The fact that you have a professional P/R person contacting the publication says you’re committed to providing relevant news and articles. The fact that they have multiple clients bringing business to the publication gives them more leverage in getting your material in print.
Don’t scrimp on artwork.
Sometimes P/R success is often based as much on the quality of the piece’s accompanying photographs or graphics, as it is on the subject content. Magazines, after all, are a visual medium. Publications are searching for dynamic visuals, as well as editorial. That’s why we always recommend to clients that they make an investment in professional photography. After all – you can get a lot of mileage out of a great photograph. Multiple uses (P/R, advertising, flyers, web site) make the cost of one photograph a bargain. A really great picture may end up on a magazine’s cover along with a caption promoting your company. Bonus!
Know the publication, and how your release or article relates to it.
Be somewhat familiar with each publication that you send your materials to. Trying to interest an editor in writing about a new product, for example, is useless if the magazine doesn’t have a new products section. Similarly, sending news about personnel changes to a journal that publishes only technical articles is pointless. Don’t personally approach an editor to “pitch” an article or release unless you know that it specifically relates to an issue that they’re working on – most trade publications have annual editorial calendars. Each month, they focus on specific editorial themes. Pitch your articles to editors based on the best “fit” in their editorial calendar. Let the editor know you’ve done your homework, and really want to enhance the publication.
Keep your efforts consistent.
A key to maximizing your P/R potential is to consistently provide feature articles or news releases to all relevant publications for your target industries. As editors at key publications continue to see your company’s name on a regular basis, they’ll begin to view it as a leader or an “expert” in its field. You know you’ve reached the pinnacle in your P/R efforts, when trade editors start calling YOU for news!
Use the Internet for broader reach.
There are thousands of industrial online bloggers and journalists who are looking for “news” to write about daily. To fill the need for this voracious amount of information, numerous online press release distribution services have popped up over the past few years. They range from “free of charge” to a fee of $200-500, depending on your needs. Web press release outlets are typically lower cost and more accessible than traditional wire-service press outlets, and carry the additional benefit of generating new inbound links for your web site in several places on the web. The benefits can carry even further if your press release is “picked up” by other sources on the web, creating even more inbound links and improving overall web exposure for your business.
Don’t have time for more than a half-hearted attempt at P/R? Let MediaWorksB2B manage your P/R campaigns and before long you’ll start reaping the rewards of a professional and consistent P/R focus!