Getting trade publications to publish or post your company’s news can be a challenge. You have to grab the interest of the gatekeeper — making sure the editor finds your item relevant to the magazine’s audience. But what if you don’t have any news to share at all? Even if your company doesn’t have a new product or recent accomplishment to promote, you can still uncover interesting news to fuel your B2B public relations program.
Creating New News
Sure, the launch of a new product will catch an editor’s eye, but news can be any piece of information that a specific audience doesn’t know about your company. Review your company’s capabilities and determine relevant industry groups that might not know that about a product or service that you offer. If your company manufactures only a few key products, but they are relevant for a variety of industries, tailor news releases to target each of these markets and their trade publications. And be sure to spread them out over time. You don’t want a gluttony of media pick-ups at once, only to leave yourself starving in a month.
Also think about positioning an existing product as a solution to a particular pain point that the audience faces. A good way to find this out is to ask your sales team about the challenges your customers discuss with them and how your solutions can make their working lives a lot easier.
It’s helpful to do your homework and identify in advance one item to promote about your company a month. That way you’re guaranteed to have at least 12 press releases to distribute to your key trade pubs. If your company only has a limited number of products, look at interesting applications. It’s likely that one product can perform a variety of functions that can be featured separately or to different audiences.
Are the industries that you serve required to comply with government regulations? Talk about how your product is designed to meet those standards. Or feature any special training or consultation that you provide to your customers to help them understand the rules and how to achieve and maintain compliance.
It’s important to research the editorial calendar topic needs of your target publications to look for issues, features, special sections or web opportunities that are a fit for your news. Also be sure to note if your key publications have a “featured product” section. That’s a great way to get your company in front of potential customers. Again, plan ahead and chart the editorial opportunities at the beginning of the year, so you don’t miss a good opportunity to place your news.
Attending a trade show is a great way to meet your customers and prospects face to face. From B2B public relations perspective, it is an opportunity to generate news about your company. Featured products and presentations are ideal for news releases. And be sure to get extra mileage from the presentation — pitch the outline as an article idea to an editor. You’ll want to check the show’s website to see which publications are participating and look for publicity opportunities like press release or product pages for exhibitors.
So don’t despair if you feel like you’ve hit a wall when it comes to discovering new news for your B2B public relations program. Know that there is always an interesting nugget to uncover, refresh and share about your company’s contributions to the marketplace.
Lisa Goetz is a public relations executive at Schubert b2b, where she primarily writes content and manages media relations. She brings 20 years of editorial and communications experience to Schubert b2b and holds a PhD in English literature from Duquesne University. When not in the office, Lisa likes to take excursions with her husband and hang out with her cat and a good book.