By Ed Pierce, Fleet Industry Marketer
Traditional public relations practices seem to be considered outmoded in this age of social media, marketing content and digital presence.
However, digital communications cannot replace the effectiveness of personal relationships with those who can influence buying decisions. In a B2B environment, chief among these “influentials” are editors and writers for the various trade and business press.
Joseph Gallo, Vice President at Weber Shandwick, provides five best practices for media relations:
1. Stop emailing! There’s nothing as effective as speaking with and getting to know your editorial contacts. Get on the phone to solicit advice and pitch ideas. Go to conferences and trade shows to meet and greet them! A cup of coffee could lead to your next story!
2. Think like a reporter! Is the story management wants to pitch actually newsworthy? Push back, if not! It is better to counsel management on media protocol than to lose credibility for you and your company in the eyes of the press.
3. Just the facts: No one likes getting a five-page email, and journalists are no different. Your email pitch must entice the reporter. Once they’re interested, give them the rest of the story.
4. Content is king (but not necessarily text): More than ever, the digital world has opened up media opportunities beyond text. Videos, infographics, visual aids are increasingly important ways to create and pitch a story.
5. Know your story and pitch: Knowing the story that you are pitching is critical. Even if you bring in a SME, have a clear understanding of the value to the magazine’s audience (and, therefore, the editor’s “hook). Just as important, develop a pitch that “bait the hook.”
Like any relationship, media relations take work. Build the bond that helps you become a name they recognize, a face they know and a source they can rely on for help when they need it!
If you have any questions, comments or opinions that you’d like to share, write to me at edpierce@ITAcommunications.com.