Michael Reidy provides essential tips to help B2B marketers achieve quality coverage – by being a reliable source of news

 

Previously, we looked at working with the press at exhibitions, noting that the best work at exhibitions begins with building long-term relationships. Think of it as an iceberg with the bulk of work done beforehand.

One of the key things in dealing with the media is understanding how they work. Basically, media depend on advertising, so don’t be surprised if, having done an interview with an editor, you get a call from the advertising salesman. Supporting a magazine with advertising is just that. It is not a bribe, nor a quid pro quo for coverage (we’ll cover advertising in a future blog).

Ensuring that all who may deal with the press understand that, and the below, will yield dividends and, perhaps, even make your company the one journalists will call first for information.

 

When can I expect to see something?

“I sent a press release, gave an interview, and two issues have come out and we’re not mentioned.”

The reality is that the first issue was probably put to bed before you provided the information. Next, your news may have been allocated to an edition that focuses on your technology, region or industry sector. Do not call to ask when and whether your information will be used.

You may, of course, follow up with news of a sale, or to see if more information is needed.

 

How much coverage can I expect to see?

You may have sent out a four-page press release, but how much news is there?

Knowing your target publications pays off here. If you are familiar with the length and type of article it publishes, you will have a good idea what to provide. – and what to expect. Professional PR people will know these things. They will also have access to circulation information, editorial schedules, and knowledge of which editors/journalists are interested in what.

 

What can I do to build a good relationship with an editor/journalist?

For good or ill, the days of schmoozing over a long lunch are over. Short, sharp and to the point is the order of the day.

  • What’s new?
  • What’s new about it?
  • Who is it meant for?
  • What are the benefits for the customer or end-user?

If you are going to push the current “hot buttons,” back up your claims:

  • Waste-saving (quantify)
  • Faster (quantify comparatively)
  • Energy-saving (quantify/provide certification details)
  • Sustainable (evidence and certification)

 

Provide a factsheet

A good idea is to provide a fact sheet (as well as a brochure) for fast reference and convenience. If a journalist can remember some facts, he may well pass them on when talking to end-users and other suppliers. On your fact sheet, provide details of whom to contact. Include name, job title, telephone and email details. Remember to update them!

 

For further information

If you need support with handling the media, then we at Tippetts and Partners can help, with many years’ experience dealing with journalists in print and packaging sectors around the world. For more information contact Adrian Tippetts, at adrian@adriantippetts.com.