Five Benefits Of Working At A Small PR Agency

PR agencies come in all shapes and sizes. Some are big, flashy and have a long and sprawling client list. Other agencies — often described as “boutique” — are smaller and less known, yet capable of producing work of the highest quality. When considering a career in PR — or a pivot from another industry — size can matter. In general, larger agencies have a more traditional work atmosphere and all that goes with it — a more formal hierarchy, multiple layers of management, and set policies about work hours. Smaller agencies are often less formal and can be less organized when it comes to personnel matters. Both, however, can offer a very positive experience and top-level learning.  

With that in mind, here are some of the benefits of working at a small PR firm. 

A strong culture 

A small PR agency is like a small town. Whether you like it or not, everyone knows you, and you know them. PR pros at smaller agencies tend to develop relationships with one another that just wouldn’t be possible at a bigger place. We know a lot about one another’s personal lives, and it’s not hard to develop almost familial bonds at work. It makes work more fun and less stressful. In between client calls, meetings, or drafting content, it’s typical to talk about the day’s current events or pop culture or sports. At a small agency, everyone gets to know each other, whether they work on the same accounts or not. Fewer people ultimately makes these interactions easier and more meaningful.  At a larger agency, you make more contacts, but there is less interaction with people who aren’t a member of your own account team.

Opportunities to thrive 

Mobility, mobility, mobility – those are the three reasons many people start off at a smaller firm. Every young PR professional wants an opportunity to show their true value and what they’re made of. A small agency will typically offer a faster rise through the ranks than a larger firm, because those ranks are thinner. Yes, there’s still a hierarchy, and that’s an important part of any functioning business or company. But fewer employees and layers of management mean more opportunities to move up, and to try new things that just wouldn’t be possible at a larger agency. This could be anything from putting together a quarterly PR plan to being a part of a new business presentation. At larger agencies, these are usually reserved for senior team members. In a small environment junior folks get a chance to be a part of them. There, you can accelerate your skill set and move up more quickly.

Team collaboration 

Another benefit of working at a small agency is the chance for high-level collaboration. Sure, there’s also that opportunity at larger agencies. However, with so many voices in the room, chances are you may not have the occasion to share your ideas and thoughts. At a big agency, these meetings usually consist of the same couple of high-ranking folks dominating the conversation. As a result, junior staff are often muted or intimidated. A small agency, on the other hand, affords the chance for your voice to not only be heard, but also be seriously considered. For example, it’s common to get together with team members to figure out the most effective way to roll out a product announcement for a given client. Since the teams are smaller, you have a real chance to be a critical part of the collaboration and decision-making processes. 

Greater client ownership

At a mega-agency, the client organizations tend to be larger, so they require more staff — often multiple layers and levels of staff. In a smaller environment, by contrast, you may actually work  on more individual clients, but because they are small or midsize companies, you have more ownership over the work and the client relationship. It’s a great way to develop a deep understanding of what a client does and how to help them achieve success. For someone starting off in PR, this means you can dig in and understand the nuances that go along with PR work. It’s a win-win for both you and the client. 

Skills broadening

As a team member at a small firm, you learn different aspects of the job very quickly, often by necessity. Yes, smaller agencies may still offer specialist services, like content development or speakers bureau. But chances are, even during your first months on the job, you’ll have the chance to write, pitch media, research business categories, and even participate in high-level creative sessions and business development meetings. Smaller firms tend to be flexible and nimble, and those skills will come in handy no matter where you build your career.

I feel that a boutique PR agency is the best place to learn everything you need to know and offer a chance to get your feet wet. They also allow someone new to the industry to make their name and reputation quickly. To me, there’s no question that a small agency provides the best work environment to make the most of your skill and become the best PR person possible. 

AdTech Pubs Every PR Pro Should Be Reading

Guest post by Crenshaw Communications intern, Jordan Farbowitz 

As many PR agency teams know, our work can be highly specialized, particularly in B2B public relations. Specific sectors like ad tech, for example, offer a relatively small number of relevant trade publications compared to consumer categories. That’s why it’s especially important for PR people not only to understand the tech, but to follow the key media in the industry very closely. From programmatic advertising to first- and third-party data, there are many hot topics and only so many gatekeepers for the stories we want to tell. 

Thankfully, almost all outlets that cover the business of advertising cover the ad tech sector, and many have dedicated sections for it. Here are some of the websites and publications that ad tech PR people should be scanning every day.

Adweek

As one of the leading sources of news in the industry, AdWeek is the perfect target for breaking news. From major deals and mergers to revenue reports, there’s no shortage of ad tech coverage on the site. And yes, there’s even a video series titled “How S#it Works.” 

AdAge

AdAge, the other ad industry publication of long standing, also covers ad tech news, but it also has opinion pieces. So, if you want a more personal approach to your ad tech news, this is the way to go. Or, if you want to keep tabs on the latest campaigns and creative, check out the Hot Spots column. 

AdExchanger

AdExchanger calls itself “the leading voice in ad tech,” and it’s easy to see why. There’s plenty of content on the site directly from ad executives and representatives of major companies, whether it’s interviews or guest columns. One highlight is AdExchanger Talks, a podcast that features key figures in the ad tech world. 

Digiday

In what other publication will you find a section called “WTF Ad Tech?” or “WTF Programmatic?” It’s an interesting way to explain topics, and it’s certainly unique. But if you want your ad tech news in a more straightforward way, then they have you covered for that, too, with “The Programmatic Marketer”.

The Drum

The Drum covers plenty of different facets of ad tech, from data and privacy to the future of television, even eSports. It has long since expanded beyond its UK roots but retains a certain scrappiness in its editorial tone.  The Drum also features subcategories on different brands so it’s easier to track the news on major companies, from Apple to Amazon. There’s also the Drum Awards that recognize the top performers in the advertising world, including in the ad tech space. What better way to see which companies in the industry are the most recognized?

MediaPost

MediaPost actually has several sub-publications so it’s easy to find exactly what you’re looking for. There’s MediaDailyNews, Digital News Daily, MAD (not the satire magazine!), and much more. There are also plenty of newsletters to sign up for and events year-round. That means it’s possible to get ad tech news delivered directly into your inbox, and have a chance to interact with the biggest names in the industry at conferences.

ClickZ

The first thing to check out on ClickZ is Tech Talks, where executives from different companies go in-depth about what they do and the services they offer. It’s quite different from how reporters talk about companies, so it’s a fresh angle. Articles are categorized under interesting topics, such as “Actionable Analysis,” “Analyzing Customer Data,” and “Digital Leaders,” to name a few.

eMarketer

eMarketer not only has ad tech news, but it also offers plenty of data and reports that dive deeply into the industry weeds – in a good way. Note that it’s part of “Insider Intelligence” that requires a fee, but what doesn’t are the podcasts, especially “Behind the Numbers” and “The Ad Platform.” The latter in particular focuses heavily on ad tech, statistics, and where the industry is going in the future.

Campaign

Campaign is an international brand with multiple specialized sites for countries and regions, so it’s a great tool for keeping tabs on news taking place outside the US. There are opinion pieces where readers can take in many different viewpoints. Campaign takes pride in delving into industry trends and strategies. In its own words: “We help you navigate what’s happening now while preparing you for what’s next.”

Marketing Land

As the name suggests, Marketing Land has a heavier focus on marketing tech (martech), but it’s still a valuable resource for news. In fact, it supplies plenty of resources for those new to the industry, with helpful guides that explain key terms for those who are unfamiliar. 

Now Hiring: Assistant Account Executive

Crenshaw Communications, a New York-based public relations agency specializing in B2B technology PR, is seeking an Assistant Account Executive (AAE) to join our dynamic B2B technology team. This is an opportunity to work with well-known B2B tech companies in industries like adtech, martech, cyber security, enterprise SaaS, artificial intelligence, retail tech, etc.

Assistant Account Executives are junior members of our staff that hold responsibility for foundational client service activities, such as research and administration. Assistant Account Executives are client and media-facing, learning to interact with key stakeholders with guidance from senior staff. Assistant Account Executives play an important role in keeping teams organized, tracking activity status, recapping outcomes of meetings, tracking coverage and monitoring social conversations of clients and competitors and the industry. They typically have some PR experience – internship, part-time or full-time – in an agency setting or as an in-house comms or marketing team member. 

**This can be a remote position – you do not have to be located in New York!**

Here’s what you’ll be doing:

-Assist the group and all supervising account members in development and maintenance of media lists

-Create and distribute press releases to targeted media outlets

-Build relationships with key members of media and proactively pitch targeted outlets, including broadcast, print and new media

-Write and edit media materials, including media alerts, fact sheets, bios, and case studies

-Daily client communication to update, report on and discuss media relations

-Responsible for daily account management activities, such as agendas, recaps, activity reports, media monitoring and coordination of all necessary materials for client accounts

-Attend and facilitate media interviews; network with reporters and editors

-Assist in the research, writing and development of new business proposals and presentations

-Participate in brainstorming sessions to develop strategic/creative thinking for clients

-Work collaboratively with team members to develop and implement successful PR campaigns

-Respond in a timely and professional manner to client requests or needs

-Misc. research, duties and projects as required

Here’s what you have:

-Excellent written and verbal skills

-Undergraduate degree or equivalent ideally in the field of PR, Communications, Marketing, Business or Journalism

-Previous experience working in a PR agency

-Creative and energetic personality! 

Why you’ll love working here:

-Top award-winning B2B tech PR agency

-Competitive compensation, a comprehensive benefits package, 401(K), and a fantastic vacation policy

-Diverse range of clients

Perks include:

-Flexible work-from-home policy

-Summer Fridays

-Thursday team-building sessions/events

-Tight-knit team culture with regular outings

-Creative and collaborative environment that emphasizes your personal growth

Please apply here: https://bit.ly/3eKK0Q2 

Crenshaw Communications is committed to creating a diverse environment and is proud to be an equal opportunity employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, gender, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, national origin, genetics, disability, age, or veteran status.

Notes From A Virtual PR Agency Intern

Starting an internship at a top PR agency can be a little nerve-wracking even under ordinary circumstances. When the internship is entirely virtual, that’s a whole different story. Thanks to COVID-19, I, like many others, have started at a new workplace without meeting my team members in person. I’ve only been here a month and have already learned so much. Working from home might be a new experience for an intern, so it’s important to create a productive work environment for yourself. Here’s how I’ve done it.

Create a good routine 

Luckily, I have past experience working from home, so it was not a new concept. While it has its benefits, you want to make sure that you don’t get too comfortable while working remotely. Yes, it may be nice not to wake up early for your commute, but you want to give yourself ample time in the morning to get ready for the work day. Loungewear has been the craze since we entered WFH life, but changing into a real outfit makes me feel productive. 

Ask questions

With everyone being virtual, communication is far more important than before. We can’t just walk over to someone’s desk for quick clarification, but don’t let that hinder you. Ask questions. You might think you’re bothering your coworkers by interrupting them, but you aren’t. Make sure you’re clear on what’s expected of you. Your coworkers understand that you are new and are getting used to the workflow and processes of the job. If something’s confusing, instead of taking a guess at it, reach out to a team member for clarification. Everyone asks questions and you should never feel like yours aren’t important. They are. For me, Slack has been super helpful for reaching out to coworkers with a timely question.

Take a deep dive onto your accounts 

You may be familiar with the organizations you’re working with, but if not, take the time to research your accounts. Look at their websites, socials, press releases, everything. In public relations, It’s always a good idea to do a search of the company and check out their media coverage, since the same outlets may be close contacts for your team. You want to make sure you’re in the know so that you can get the most from participating in external and internal meetings. 

Write things down

It may seem old fashioned, but I’d be lost without my notebook. I have found it very helpful to write things, even when I have a laptop in front of me. This might not apply to everyone, but when it comes to typing up notes for a client or drafting a press release it’s helpful to have them written down next to me. I also apprecIate having them accessible when I need to quickly recall information.

When I first started and was instructed on how to conduct call recaps or daily digests, I wrote all the instructions in my notebook and bookmarked the page so I can easily go back in case I need a refresh. If writing things down doesn’t work for you, create folders on your laptop for each account or project you have and save all documented notes for easy access. 

Get involved in company virtual events 

At any internship, whether virtual or not, it’s important to participate in company happenings and get to know your colleagues. Crenshaw has made this very easy. We have company-wide check-ins at the beginning and end of each week, with a happy-hour meeting every other Thursday. These meetings are great opportunities to engage with colleagues. They’re mostly focused on the work we have planned or achieved for the week, but we also go off on tangents and talk about everyday life as well. If the company you work for doesn’t have regular team meetings, maybe you can suggest it and help organize them. 

Pay close attention 

One day you might be taking over the tasks that your teammates are doing so it’s a good idea to “study” the emails they send and observe how they work. Take the time to understand what they do and why they do it. When I started, I read through every email from team members to clients and went through the client files to see how press releases or media alerts were written. It’s also good to be curious. I reach out to team members about why they do things in certain ways to better understand how Crenshaw works with clients. For example, one of the companies I work on has several international PR teams, and I asked how we work together. Even though I don’t personally communicate with the global teams, it helped to understand how we interact, and my colleagues appreciated my interest.

_____

Starting a PR internship can be overwhelming at first but you will get the hang of it. Be patient and take each day as it comes. Remember, that onboarding an intern may also be a first for your manager, so it may take some time before things kick into gear and time will fly by. You may be working virtually, but you aren’t alone.

How To Score A Great Local News Story: 5 PR Tips

Selecting the right journalist for a given piece of news is a vital skill for any PR team. It’s also important to determine whether a story has its best chance of being published as a local media item, or if it warrants a full national media outreach. For example, survey results or breaking news at a national company will be pitched to national media, whereas region-specific news will be offered to local reporters.

Although the number of local news outlets — particularly newspapers — has declined over the past several years, local media still offers clout. A study found that 76% of Americans trust local television news, – a confidence level that’s over 20% higher than trust in national news. This is one reason why local media should be part of any PR plan. There’s also the likelihood of a larger story; if a piece of company news has local or regional relevance, the resulting story can have a large impact.

Clearly, there are benefits to pitching local media. Here are some ways to maximize your chances of success.

Lead with the local hook

If there is no local news angle, the reporter will ask, “How is this relevant to Staten Island?” for example, or simply not respond. Once you have established that it’s appropriate to target local media, determine what type of outlet is best – TV, newspapers, or radio. Show that you’ve done your research and lead with the reason the story is relevant. Include their region in the subject line so they know it’s pertinent, and make sure that local angle is clearly stated in your first sentence. Another pro tip is to sprinkle in a reference to one of their previous stories where they covered a similar topic in their region. Or, if they cover a specific beat / section of the paper, like local entrepreneurs, or community service, be sure to mention it. 

Know when and how assignments are made

This is particularly critical for local broadcast segments. The news assignments for the day can be made very early, with reporters and camera crews often dispatched by 8:00 a.m. to cover the stories their assignment editors have identified. For afternoon broadcasts, naturally, the process happens later. It’s best to know exactly who’s making the coverage decisions and when those commitments are made, so  you can get your story on their radar at exactly the right time.

Don’t pitch too many reporters at the same publication

It’s easy to become over-eager and blast out emails on the same topic to multiple reporters at a publication. But this is never a good idea, and at local news sites, there may be only one or two reporters on a given beat. Reporters covering a given beat at any publication are in frequent contact with each other, and if you send a pitch to a wrong contact, the reporter may forward your email to the correct person. So, it will be excessive (or worse) if a PR person hits up too many reporters at the same publication. It’s far better to send one or two personalized pitches to local journalists. The pitch should be carefully tailored instead of generic.

Have a strong understanding of local news

If you’re a PR person accustomed to placing your company in stories on a certain beat, you may not be reading local news sites regularly. Don’t neglect the research if this is the case. Investigate local issues and topics of interest, and make a point to understand the specific audience of the local news site you want to pitch. A deep comprehension of local news means understanding who owns which company. For example, if you know that Tribune Co. owns both the Los Angeles Times and WGNO-TV in New Orleans, you know one of your contacts at the Times might put you in touch with WGNO-TV to get your company on TV. The longer you work in PR, the more you make these types of connections, and they soon become second nature. But you can always get smart by doing some research. 

Never shut the door on a contact

For your best chance at coverage, be sure to follow up one-to-three times, ideally with new information about the story. And once you have successfully worked with a reporter to place a story, be sure to build the relationship so they’ll remember you as a future contact, whether by sending a thank-you note or promoting the story on Twitter. Every contact is a building block to future stories, so don’t take it personally if you don’t succeed at first. If you get a last-minute call from a producer asking for story commentary from an expert source, do your best to help, even if it’s not relevant to your own clients or company. Chances are, you’ll come upon the same reporter at some point in the future, and they will remember. 

When done properly, local media outreach can secure high-impact placements for your company. A professional approach and a well-researched pitch will make you stand out and help build a foundation for greater success down the road. 

How Jeff Bezos Scored A PR Win

Not every billionaire CEO needs a big public relations team, apparently – just ask Elon Musk. But many successful founders do have an innate grasp of PR and media strategy. Sure, communications skills are learned, and years of experience really count in the PR biz. But when it comes to the hand-to-hand combat of media relations, an instinct for the game surely helps.

That’s the conclusion that Bloomberg Businessweek’s Brad Stone came to about Amazon’s Jeff Bezos and his tangle with the National Enquirer in 2019. In an excerpt from his new book, Amazon Unbound, Stone offers a fascinating tick-tock on the PR melodrama that played out after the Enquirer published salacious photos and texts involving the then-married Bezos and paramour Lauren Sanchez.  The story reads like a thriller. In Stone’s words, “It’s a tale that involves a scheming Hollywood manager, desperate tabloid newspaper editors, and spurious claims of political intrigue and international espionage. It’s also a look into Jeff Bezos’s mind and how he thinks unconventionally and always manages to come out on top.”

Precisely. Now, I don’t agree that Bezos is a PR mastermind in every sense of the word. In the first place, he could have likely avoided the scandal if he had behaved with more circumspection. It doesn’t take a media relations genius to figure that the press would at some point be all over the details of a new relationship that he didn’t bother to hide. But maybe that’s how moguls are.

The fascinating aspects of the Bezos tabloid scandal are instructive. If you unpack Stone’s behind-the-scenes story, you’ll spot some familiar and not-so-familiar PR rules about how to turn around a negative story. And Bezos played them perfectly.

Preempt bad news where possible

“Get ahead of the story” is time-honored advice offered by PR experts to public figures on the edge of a nasty revelation. It nearly always holds up. On Monday, January 7, the Enquirer emailed Bezos “to request an interview with you about your love affair.” Bezos didn’t know it yet, but someone had tipped off the tabloid about the relationship. Sanchez’s own brother slipped it cozy photos of the couple together, screenshots of sexy texts, and details of future assignations so the paper could get its own photos. Bezos had to have been caught off-guard, but he didn’t flinch. He moved quickly, instructing his PR team to announce the news of his divorce by Wednesday morning. He thus gained a measure of control over the story and was able to lay it out on his own terms. The Enquirer, a weekly with a Monday pub date, had to rush out a special issue to protect its scoop. Bezos wasn’t able to stop the stories, but he avoided a reactive announcement of his marital status with a dignified statement about the couple’s decision to split.

Negotiate well

What followed the first flurry of stories about Bezos and Sanchez was a classic tabloid quid-pro-quo. The Enquirer wanted fresh material to move the story forward. Bezos decided to negotiate, but from a point of strength. The tabloid ultimately agreed to stop running the old photos and texts in exchange for an exclusive paparazzi shot of Sanchez in an airport. It was a low-stakes concession by team Bezos. The assurance that no more surprise photos or story angles would pop up — at least for a while — enabled Bezos to plan his counteroffensive.

Exploit your opponent’s weakness

This is a business maxim as old as Machiavelli, but it’s often relevant in a tough media relations situation. When Bezos was originally ambushed by the Enquirer, the tabloid held most of the cards. But it also had a big problem. Its shenanigans around “catch and kill” stories about ex-president Trump had caught the attention of SDNY prosecutors who smelled a possible campaign finance violation. The publication was on thin ice, financially weak and fearful of prosecution. Bezos was able to exploit its vulnerability in his ultimate response. That turned out to be a masterstroke, even though it wasn’t wholly true.

Tap specialist expertise

Suspicious about the leaked photos and worried about what was next, Bezos involved his longtime security consultant, Gavin de Becker, in his media counteroffensive. de Becker was more than a hired gun. He boasts a distinguished career and is a published author and recognized security expert. In an interview granted to the Daily Beast, de Becker fingered Sanchez’s brother as the tipster, which only elicited sympathy for the couple. More importantly, he implied that Bezos was targeted because of Trump’s resentment of him as the owner of The Washington Post. The security consultant’s status lent credibility to the accusation and focused attention on the Enquirer’s reputation as an apologist, and possible bagman, for former president Trump.

Disintermediate the press

They call it “media” for a reason. But today it’s easy for a powerful personality to disintermediate the MSM and go directly to the public with a message. It’s a strategy that arguably propelled Donald Trump – another high-level PR practitioner — to the presidency. Trump famously maligned the mainstream media and used Twitter as his direct platform of choice, and his example wasn’t lost on the rich and powerful. Bezos didn’t need to disparage media as Trump did; after all, he owns one of the most prestigious newspapers in the world. But he responded publicly to the National Enquirer’s offer of a “deal” not just in the media, but in a powerful personal essay on Medium, the social publishing platform. Of course it was picked up by every media outlet in the country.

Change the story

This was Bezos’s slam dunk. After skillfully using earned media to highlight his own version of the story, he went for the jugular in the Medium post. He used emails from the Enquirer’s owner, AMI, to his attorney to accuse the tabloid of extortion. As a coup de grace, he reported on his own embarrassing texts and suggested that the leaks amounted to political retribution. Astonishingly, he implied – without evidence — that the texts and photos were accessed by people with links to the Saudi Arabian government. The theory was that the Saudis were angered by WaPo’s reporting that Prince Mohammed bin Salman was linked to the murder of columnist Jamal Kashoggi. The bold charge that the Enquirer was trying to wreak political payback for Trump, and that a foreign actor might even be involved, was devastating.

It was a pretty cynical move. Instead of a tawdry backstabbing by his girlfriend’s brother, Bezos implied that foreign actors were trying to destroy his reputation for geopolitical reasons. Even today, there’s no evidence of that. But its impact was like a one-two punch. It was a twist on the game that celebrities play to challenge and blame powerful media brands for negative coverage. In this scenario, Bezos is the rich and powerful one, but he deftly turned the tables on the tabloid and used its sleazy past against it. By coming clean about his personal situation, he cast himself as a principled defender of journalism, truth, even democracy.

There’s a lot to question here, because the whole things boils down to a shady little shakedown of an indiscreet business mogul. But it’s also a pretty impressive master class in PR and media relations, or at least, tabloid relations. Bottom line, the whole messy episode is a footnote in Bezos’s life and career, and his reputation has probably never been stronger. That’s power.

5 PR Tips To Boost Your Company’s Media Appeal

In B2B public relations, we’re always trying to find ways to drive business and trade media interest for clients. Yet as every PR person knows, there isn’t always a timely newshook for the story you want to tell. And not every business is a household name. When gaining media traction is challenging, how can PR pros generate media attention for the stories they want to tell? Here are a few shortcuts that can help B2B PR pros spiff up their pitches, think creatively, and drive media coverage.

Look globally for reactive news

U.S. headlines can be a gold mine for reactive news opportunities, where a company latches on to a breaking news story with a smart take or point of view and gets coverage for it. But with many companies doing business internationally it’s smart to look outside our own media market for openings. PR pros and comms teams should consider developments in relevant international regions as a way to expand thought leadership for company executives. Moreover, given how interconnected the business world is today, international news stories, trends, and policy changes often have ripple effects that impact the U.S. market. Just because a political or economic movement was rolled out in the EU doesn’t mean that it won’t impact your stateside business or client.

Broaden the narrative

When it comes to offering content and commentary, most companies focus on a certain aspect of their industry. Yet, the knowledge pool within their organization likely extends far beyond that one area. For example, a retail tech business may focus on price optimization technology, but it may have executives who can speak to broader trends within certain retail verticals or retail as whole — trends like multichannel retailing; micro-fulfillment; or artificial intelligence applications. By looking to leverage diverse knowledge, PR pros and internal comms teams can dramatically raise the thought leadership profile of an entire organization and also generate new ideas for content and pitching. The key is to choose a relevant area and bridge back to your core product or service.

Don’t fear the vertical

It’s always great to generate coverage within top-tier technology publications like TechCrunch or VentureBeat. These outlets, however, tend to stick closer to high-level announcements or end-user benefit stories versus the nitty-gritty aspects that potential buyers study before making a significant B2B purchase. So it pays to go to overlooked areas; one of those within tech media, at least in my view, is developer and IT media. Granted, the data integration capabilities of a digital transformation tool may not be at the top of most executives’ reading lists. However, if a client is producing breakthrough technology and results — and they likely are — developer and IT media publications can really resonate with CIOs and work wonders when it comes to product reputation. Vertical stories can be powerful sales tools, and higher-order tech media tend to follow the key sector publications. So don’t be afraid to build pitches and content around the nuts and bolts specs of a product’s technology — they may be way more interesting to media than you think.

Use data and assets — or create your own

Whether in business, technology, or professional services media, one hugely attractive asset that can really bring a story to life is data. Almost all businesses are sitting on data that can be used to position themselves as a key media resource for information, trends, and forecasting. And if there’s not enough current data, it’s easy to create fresh assets by investing in a proprietary survey. Beyond just the immediate media benefits, data insights can be parlayed into white papers, supporting points for awards submissions, and bylined pieces that work to raise executive and brand visibility as well. 

Content, content, content

No one gets hits for every pitch they throw, and “no, thanks” is a common response in the PR world. But just because a journalist may not want a briefing with a company spokesperson doesn’t mean that a story or company point of view is weak. Instead, it actually opens up a whole new avenue to explore with a given pitch: bylined content. It’s true that bylines need to be “vendor- neutral” – that is, they can’t boast about a company’s product or service. The point of a good bylined article is to express a smart opinion on an issue of relevance to its customers, or offer solutions to an emerging problem or challenge. A deep-dive, long-form POV that a business spokesperson can offer is sometimes just as valuable — if not more so — than a quote or two in a broader media story.