For those B2B organizations that have products that need some explaining in order for the end-user to fully appreciate and understand them, advertising might not be the best marketing option.
People are paying less and less attention to traditional ads, we all know that, and many times it is hard to explain the benefits of a product in an ad.
This is what makes the #PowerofPR such a powerful option. With PR/communications, we are getting people to read about the benefits and features of your products. It’s more credible than an ad and much more effective.
For those of you who wonder how to take advantage of the mysterious but magical world of PR/communications, here’s a little peek.
Have a story to tell.
Your goal is to get your products and services discussed in a trade publication serving your industry. No editor is going to run a story about how great your company and its products are. In fact, no editor may write the story at all… That is your job.
So you have to come up with a story and “pitch it” to the editor. The more educational and how-to the better. While you may not be able to mention the product by name, you can tactfully weave it into the article by quoting someone from your company or putting the entire article under the name of someone at your company.
The more discreetly done while still making the connection to your company, the happier the editor will be and the more effective the article.
Contact the right person…
Be sure you have an up-to-date editorial contact list. Start by visiting the websites of the industry trade publications you know already. Find the names of the publisher, editor, and account reps in those publications and place their contact information in a spreadsheet.
For more publications, do searches such as “trade publications in the food service industry”; “industry publications for the green and sustainability industry,” etc. About an hour’s worth of diligence and you’ll have a complete contact list.
The person you want to contact is the editor, not the senior editor. It’s the editor’s job is to get content in the publication or on the website on a regular basis.
…at the right time.
Let’s say your company makes restroom fixtures that use very little water. Your end-customers are in the building and facility management industries. You can’t take your story and just pitch it to editors randomly.
No, you have to have a strategy. First, go to the editorial calendars and see when the publication will be discussing ways to reduce water consumption. Check the print and online editorial calendars; they may have both.
Let’s say it’s March and you see a trade publication that will discuss water conservation in June. Get your pitch ready now. The sooner you’re in the door, the more likely the editor will say, Yes, I’m interested, send me your story.
Know how to pitch.
Now we have gotten to the nitty-gritty. There are different ways to pitch a story idea to an editor. But here are two things to always keep in mind:
1. Keep it short.
2. Always add, “I believe this will prove valuable to your readers.”
Here’s an example of a pitch that I have found effective:
Reviewing your editorial calendar for June, I see you are looking for content on water conservation. I would like to suggest the following educational article on this topic that I believe will prove valuable to your readers:
Problem: Water bills are increasing dramatically around the country and more building owners are being pressured to reduce water consumption.
Solution: This article will discuss new ways to reduce water consumption in a facility, from conducting water audits and repairing leaks to installing water-conserving restroom fixtures.
The article will meet your guidelines as listed in your media kit.
Please let me know if this works for you.
That’s it. Give the editor a couple of weeks to contact you. If no contact after that, you are free to approach the next editor with the same idea.
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