Turning content into coverage
When approaching a journalist to set up a briefing meeting or offer a story, research or survey data points make for a compelling pitch.
So how do you start using your hero content to deliver your company or solution story to the media? The content should feed into all the material you plan to use with the press.
Punchier media pitches
When approaching a journalist to set up a briefing meeting or offer a story, research or survey data points make for a compelling pitch. For example, “Our research showed that 80% of all mobile devices in use in the UK are vulnerable to attack by new malware. Our solution is the only one to prevent these attacks across Android, iOS and Windows Mobile.”
If you can map your key sales messages to a strong media message, your pitching will prove much more effective. Make sure you use the research data during the briefings too: they add impact and credibility, as well as giving the journalist an easily-accessible hook they can hang the story around – making it easier for them, and giving you coverage with more impact.
Powerful news releases
New research findings are news in themselves, and also powerful supporting material for news releases on solutions or services, so use recent survey data whenever possible to support your story angles. Quotes and short testimonials from customers also provide strong evidence of the real-world benefits of solutions; a strong customer success story is a news story in its own right.
Thought leadership: opinions count
Bylined thought-leadership (or opinion) articles are now accepted by a broad range of media, from specialist Infosecurity titles, to top-level IT and business publications. The key requirements for an effective article that a target title will want to publish are simple: it should be non-promotional; it should address a key business or security issue; and it should offer an interesting take on the subject.
With the right ingredients, a single article can reach a wide audience: media sites such as SC Magazine or DarkReading often see articles being viewed and shared online upwards of 500 times in the course of a couple of days. That’s 500 people absorbing your key messages, and spreading that message wider.
Articles of this type can be spun out of your existing ‘hero content,’ for example from a white paper, or video. The article can and should include your survey data, to add relevance and impact.
Customer case studies
A customer willing to speak to the press, or have a testimonial published about their use of your solutions, is perhaps the most powerful tool for using with the media: the press simply cannot get enough stories about real-life user experiences, simply because they are relatively rare. So to make sure you get the maximum value from a customer story, there are two simple rules:
- The real value of the story is the benefit the customer gets from your solution or service: try and obtain
figures such as “we have saved X million pounds / X thousand man-hours as a result,” or “we can now do
in 5 minutes what used to take us 2 days”
- Focus on the customer’s business problem and how your solution helps-not just on your technology
Of analyst relations and social amplifications
Share and amplify with social media Industry analysts, such as Gartner, IDC, 451Research and many others, play a key role in IT purchasing, especially in the Infosecurity sector; analysts’ reports or recommendations can be key to a company being invited to tender for a project. As such, analysts should be included as a part of your outreach programme, using many of the same materials as you would use for contacting the media.
Analysts are also a trusted source for national and trade press journalists, looking for an objective and informed view of the market. If the analysts don’t know you then the press may not either.”
Your PR partner should be able to advise you which analysts are the right fit for your company or solution, and are therefore the most appropriate to contact to help spread your sales messages.
Share and amplify with social media
Media coverage is a great sales tool on its own: you can send links to articles to partners, prospects and existing customers. It’s also the most powerful content that can be shared on social media, because it represents independent endorsement of your sales messages.
It’s the perfect fuel for igniting social media outreach, especially across LinkedIn and Twitter, because connections can recommend and share the content to their peers and partners. This not only extends the reach and lifespan of the content, it adds the critical ‘word of mouth’ factor that is often the most persuasive in terms of driving purchasing decisions.
It’s well worth evaluating promoting key content such as white papers, videos, case studies and prominent feature articles published in top-tier media, as this further extends awareness.
To help drive your sales using PR, the key steps are:
Get your sales, marketing and PR teams together to ensure everyone fully understands your sales messages, the customers’ pain points, and how your company’s solutions address them.
Map out and develop the ‘hero content’ which crystallises those sales messages and forms the heart of your marketing and PR campaigns.
Develop press material from that hero content and ensure it conveys the key messages and proof points (whether customer endorsements, research data etc).
Make sure know the key analysts in the sector and keep them up to date on developments.
Share and amplify the content, and PR results, via social media.
To help ensure this process is effective and delivers the results you expect, ensure the PR consultancy you work with has in-depth experience of working in the Infosecurity sector, and is familiar with the sector’s technology, challenges and issues.
This means they can have meaningful input in developing the PR strategy and content; and they will also have established relationships with key media, bloggers and influencers. They will know when and how to reach out to target media, and be able to translate marketing and tech-jargon into messages that are relevant and make sense to editors and journalists.
This way, the learning curve is minimised, and your campaign will be able to deliver quick results, with the PR company leading the strategic and tactical approaches – rather than relying on you to develop content and simply sending news releases to the media. This enables you to focus on converting that awareness and media interest into sales. If you would like to have an expert evaluation of your current profile and some PR ideas to drive sales please get in touch.