For many small-to-medium sized B2B organizations we work with, we recommend a very targeted PR effort that maximizes limited resources through consistent product and company news, ideally on a bi-monthly to quarterly basis to start.
When we lead PR efforts for our clients, we remind them of two myths and follow ten rules to make sure outreach is done effectively and is a win-win-win…for our client, for the editor, and for TREW’s long-term relationship with both!
- PR is “free” – on the contrary, PR is probably one of the most expensive types of marketing there is. Why? It takes time, patience and a consistent drumbeat over months and years to achieve lasting, impactful coverage. While advertising has hard costs – you place an ad, pay your bill, and poof, your company is in print or on a website – for PR, you can pitch many times before you finally achieve coverage. There are no guarantees, but either way, you have spent your time and resources.
- PR drives sales – have you ever thought to yourself “My product was covered in the press, but my sales not rising, so PR does not work.” Well, let me ask you, when was the last time you read an small blurb, or better yet a page-long article, about a product you hadn’t heard of before and then got your credit card out and bought it? Likely, the answer is not very often, if never. Getting coverage should be the first “touch” in a series of touches that are needed to drive someone to give their name as a lead, much less place an order. PR is just the first step, and it requires consistent coverage over time combined with other types of marketing to see the collective payoff in leads and sales.
- EDITORS and reporters have very little time, and very little patience. They also receive, on average, over 200 releases a day from companies all over the world. CONCLUSION: They will probably not read your release.
- EDITORS are very specialized, and they change their specialty quite often. CONCLUSION: Make sure that each editor receives the information that relates to his/her specialty.
- EDITORS, REPORTERS AND THE PRESS IN GENERAL know their jobs. They do not need to submit their stories to you, they do not need your help in writing them and they will not give you a preview of the story. CONCLUSION: Either take over the publication, or don’t ask to help.
- EDITORS are human AND always on deadline. They have a need to get their job done quickly and efficiently. CONCLUSION: The quicker you meet their needs, the quicker you get into print. Ensure that you know those needs before you meet (e.g., what’s the best/worst day to contact them), and make sure that you can meet them.
- EDITORS are not interested in advertising. CONCLUSION: Do not mention advertising to editors.
- STORIES are whatever the editor chooses to make out of your information. CONCLUSION: Once the story is written, there is no call back, no complaining and no post editorializing. The only exception is if there is a factual inaccuracy, which may warrant a followup and correction. Otherwise, it’s done.
- STORIES can be placed into very simple categories, but the editor does the placing. CONCLUSION: Determine what type of story you are presenting, and accept that the editor will do the categorizing.
- STORIES are, by order of interest- fast-breaking disasters, slow-breaking disasters, people of importance doing important things, new break-through products in new categories, older products doing new things, new versions of old products. [Then there are] the trash news stories that will only be placed by being a nuisance. These include: strategic alliances between two unimportant companies, me-too stories, design wins, personnel changes (unless the president shoots a VP), following major trend, obscure technical factoids, etc. CONCLUSION: Be realistic when pitching coverage, and place your story in its true category. If you don’t, the editor will.
- STORIES become obsolete the moment they appear anywhere. CONCLUSION: For maximum effect, do not leak your story to a favorite editor, keep it for a complete roll out.
- OFF THE RECORD never is. CONCLUSION: Don’t ask, and never, ever assume.
To read more about our work in PR, read the TAMEST or MoviMED case studies. To read more about PR and securing coverage for your product or company, visit our blog post TREW Top 9 List to Increase Your Product Launch Coverage.