Like all companies, manufacturers of industrial technology want to maximise the exposure of their products and services in the trade and technical media. Budgets are always restrictive to some degree, thus they must strive to optimise the return from the investment they make in public relations output, be that from an in-house marcoms team or a specialist PR agency. Generating compelling content – an article describing best practice, for example – is often the first step in the process, but it is also important to maximise the benefit of this work by ensuring that it reaches as wide an audience as possible.
Match PR content with target media
Ideally material will be written for a specific feature or media opportunity, but even if it is produced without a final placement already secured, it is important to consider its target destination, to ensure that it meets style and specification guidelines. Journals have very different requirements in terms of writing style, copy length, and crucially how commercial the content can be. Matching content with your target media will increase its chances of being selected, therefore minimising disappointment and the need for rework.
Specialist PR agencies have a comprehensive knowledge of the media relevant to their client, enabling them to make appropriate recommendations about the most suitable journals, and draft the material accordingly. PR agencies that are on the ball will have a good understanding of the forward features for the key magazines and digital media in their client’s field of operation.
Print or online options
It goes without saying that print media has been in decline for some time now, but within many industries and countries (Italy and Germany especially), printed trade and technical journals are still strong and present the ideal media in which to place material.
Even where print is weak, most trade and technical publishers now tend to replicate articles appearing in print on their accompanying websites. Certainly, placement online gives exposure over a much longer period and crucially, as all good content marketing managers will tell you, online content such as technical articles draws people to you, via Google searches, making it much better received than material preached to them, even in trade journals. This provides an ideal solution to the quandary of whether to aim for print or digital opportunities. Where possible get both!
So once the article has appeared both in print and online, what can then be done to maintain its impetus? In days gone by, companies would request copies of magazines or reprints of the specific article to pass on to potential customers as part of their sales and marketing material. Article reprints are still an option, but digital versions are more commonplace and provide the opportunity to place them on company websites and for the client to promote them via social media platforms such as LinkedIn and Twitter.
This is very desirable as it increases the material’s exposure, can help to promote the company as a thought leader, and enables interactive discussion.
Of course, there are many ways to skin a cat and tell a story. Any half-decent PR agency should be able to suggest one or two, expanding the use of the original source material and maximising the total coverage and exposure received. This could involve developing different angles to produce additional articles that can be placed in alternative journals within similar or different markets and countries. Articles could be expanded to create white papers or edited to produce blog content or LinkedIn/social media posts.
Case studies – which are articles focused on the application of technology at a specific customer site – can often be edited into a shorter, punchier press release format that reinforces the customer benefits received. A press release can then be distributed to a broad range of trade and technical publications and easily translated into other languages, creating much greater reach. Similarly, material can be reworked into ‘short and sweet’ proven result flyers that support sales activities.
Once an article has been written and successfully placed that should be the start, not the end, of things. Repurpose material and squeeze every last drop of benefit from it. Should you need any further advice, drop us a line. HHC Lewis has one of the UK’s most experienced teams of industrial and technical marketing professionals and we are well versed at creating original material and then recycling it to maximise exposure for our clients. To find out how we can support your PR requirements, please get in touch with us here.