For me, this time of year is busy with organizing editorial calendars and planning opportunities for 2010. It is also the time when I like to reach out to various publications to thank them for their support over the past year for VantagePoint and our clients.
In the BtoB space, trade publications can be an important outlet to reach key audiences. Falling under the PR umbrella, media relations is a great tool to support your marketing communications goals.
Here are a couple of reasons why:
- Think quality over quantity. Trade publications are geared specifically to your audience. Even if the circulation isn’t as great as a large business journal, there are more relevant readers for a trade pub. It’s better to hit an audience of 5,000 that play directly in your space than an audience of 100,000 who may not care about what you do.
- New products are news. Several trade publications have a section for new products and literature. If your company manufactures products or creates literature to sell services, this section can be a place to receive free publicity. Not all publications have free product reviews, but several do and they should be utilized.
- Credibility is key. Getting quoted in a feature article offers a credible message from a trusted third party. This reaches beyond advertising, because it is non-promotional, yet builds the company as a thought leader. Contributed articles can also be a great way to publish your opinion on a topic, while not appearing too sales-like.
- Economics 101. Media relations can be much more economical than other methods of traditional marketing. Compared to advertising, writing and distributing press releases, or pitching a story idea can cost less and be more effective. However, it is still important to include traditional marketing because of its ability to build awareness for the brand.
It is important to remember that while media relations is a tool that can help you accomplish your marketing communications goals, placement is never guaranteed. That’s why it is always important to remember to thank the media when they decide to run your story, quote you in an article, feature your new product, or run a contributed article. And as we near the end of the year, picking up the phone to thank those editors and reporters is also a good way to start a conversation about opportunities in 2010.