PR Public Relations
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Having your company talked about in the trade press gets you both a relevant audience and, if the publication is trusted and respected, a bit of it rubs off onto your company. No, you don’t need to buy advertising if you don’t want to, although that’s not a bad idea, but getting editorial means putting some work in.

What do you want to say and does anyone care?

It’s an obvious point, but the press is focused on news. Whatever sector you are in, that’s what the press is looking for. It could be industry news, financial news, technology news, but fundamentally, it’s news. The first job is to find the news angle in whatever you want to say. You may have won your first project in Yorkshire, which is big news for your company, but really, does anyone outside your company care? Successful business press strategies rely on giving the press something that they want, something newsworthy.

Which publication?

Every industry has a coterie of trade titles, in different geographical locations. If what you are announcing is global, then go global, but if you are mainly based in one country, research the top ten titles/websites in your country and field, and have a look at them.

Which audience?

What makes a publication tick? Is it technology news, financial news, project news? Does it have specific features, month by month, on industry topics, or is it focused on contract awards or environmental innovation? Is it aimed at a CEO level audience or is it aimed at mid-level engineers? Understanding the audience is key, as this is who the journalists are writing for, and determines what kind of stories they are looking for.

Scattergun vs targeted approach

Some companies employ an agency to send out tens of press releases to hundreds of publications and measure success by mentions or column inches. Others may go for a few target publications and talk to particular journalists. It all depends on what you are trying to achieve – brand recognition or reaching a specific audience.

The marriage

Plotting a midway course, say by sending a press release to a list of publications, is a standard ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach. A successful release, as well as being well written (a whole art in itself), needs to marry up your need with the needs of the journal/website. Is it newsworthy? Is the news clearly explained? Is it clear and all jargon explained? Are there links to further details so each journal can have access to further details? Is there a human they can talk to for further information?

The ongoing relationship

Press releases are fine, but relationships are better. Journalists are busy, as are you, but sometimes there is a mutual interest, e.g., they might want your view on a topic for a feature they are writing, or you are doing something truly breathtaking that could make an interesting article. You could give your ‘scoop’ as an exclusive to your target top paper, or organise a press visit for several journalists or send out a global press release. It all depends on the strength of your story and what you are trying to achieve.

The strategy

At JPBRM, we know how to build a press strategy that is aligned with the business plan, marketing strategy and the available budget. A well-thought out, targeted campaign for specific purposes or ongoing exposure is one of the tools in the box to take your company to the next level of success.

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