September 12, 2022
If you’re Apple or Intel, or even Google or Microsoft, chances are almost everything your company does is newsworthy. Reporters and the public are likely waiting breathlessly for you to announce your next big thing.
Other companies are fortunate enough to make sexy stuff, like movies or airplanes. Some create innovative life-saving equipment. But what about everybody else? What if your company makes screws or boxes or another widget?
Does that mean you’re doomed to never getting positive press? Not necessarily. But you must think creatively.
Here are 10 creative media must-dos that will help your company become more newsworthy.
The Wall Street Journal may never feature you and you may never appear on Today, but that might not be where you need to be. Your customers and prospects are more likely to look for product info in trade publications or industry online portals. Look at what publications are laying in your customers’ lobbies. Or simply ask from where they get their information. Then target those publications.
Perhaps you won’t get tons of placements in media outlets that reach millions of readers, but you might not need to. Perhaps your product is large, and you only need to sell tens or hundreds of items per year to remain profitable. Then there’s no need to reach thousands or millions of prospects.
Think about how your product contributes to your customers’ abilities to do business or to life in general. You might make bearings or filters, but if those products don’t work properly, it could mean catastrophic consequences for your customers. It’s likely your customers and prospects could benefit from educational material that helps them understand the differences between various options on the market. If you help them choose the right product and avoid disaster, they’ll likely turn to you the next time they’re looking for an expert opinion.
Some companies are constantly introducing new SKUs and alternative product offerings. Others have largely done the same thing for years. But there is value in communicating how and why your product remains relevant by discussing how it is a part of trending practices. No one would have guessed that paper masks or hand sanitizers would be newsworthy. Then the COVID pandemic hit, and that’s all we heard about for months.
How does your product or business fit in with current trends? Or, conversely, how does your product buck those trends? What you do may not have changed much in recent years, but what’s happening around you may have changed tremendously. For instance, the government may be cracking down on certain plasticizers, a chemical that makes material softer and more flexible, because of their adverse health and environmental impact. If your product never contained those plasticizers, it’s important to let others know. Or your competitors may all be moving to higher-tech solutions, but you’ve opted to keep emphasizing personalization. With a bit of research, you can likely identify and write about the need for and benefits of keeping a more traditional approach.
Today, more than ever, customers and prospects are interested in what your company is doing—not just what it is producing, but its overall impact on the environment. And on the labor force. And on society as a whole. Perhaps you’ve significantly reduced carbon emissions from your plant or you’re using recycled materials. You may have automated a process that eliminates the need for more workers (that are in short supply). Or perhaps you’ve launched a new recruitment initiative that is helping you hire more minorities. All these efforts are noteworthy and newsworthy.
Media outlets love stats. If you conduct an industry survey about challenges, trends, technologies, labor issues, and so forth, it’s likely to be of interest to industry media. Even better, these are your stats that you own, so there’s no competition for the story.
Despite all the negative coverage that dominates media headlines today, media still love a feel-good story. So, if your organization adopts a charity, hosts an event or volunteers to help make a difference, it could be newsworthy.
Not all media outlets publish an editorial calendar, but most trade journals do. A great way to catch an editor’s attention is to propose a story or discuss something your company is doing that ties in with the topics the publication already has planned to cover in the coming months.
Case studies are likely one of the hardest-working pieces of content in your media relations arsenal. The trade press, in general, love case studies that document how a product solved a problem. Plus, they’re highly credible because someone other than you is talking about how great you are.
If all else fails, or if you’re just looking for a way to augment your earned media efforts, consider placing an advertorial or sponsored content in a targeted publication. Yes, that means paying for your publicity.
Not so long ago, many of us PR professionals would have frowned on this suggestion. The realities of today’s publishing world, however, dictate that paid placements often become part of a total marketing communications plan. With this approach, you can still make it look like you’ve placed an article and get the credibility of editorial. Few readers pay attention to the small notes that an advertorial is “paid” or “sponsored by.” Plus, you completely control the message of the article and can guarantee when it will publish.
Today’s media world has changed dramatically. Traditional media outlets have shrunk in circulation. Some have gone out of business entirely. In their place a multitude of online and social outlets have sprung up, providing new avenues for marketing your business. With all these changes, there are plenty of creative options for becoming newsworthy.
If you’re looking for more creative solutions on how to get your company more press recognition, contact Falls & Co.