A B2B PR firm looking to promote a specific idea or story might think first about pitching large, mainstream media outlets. Why not? Splashy national coverage is terrific, of course, and everyone loves a big name. But not every story is national news. And a story in a publication with a high UVM (unique visitors per month) may not attract as engaged an audience as a more narrowly focused one. In fact, a strict focus on “greater audience reach = better” can mitigate opportunities for exposure in more relevant outlets that will cover the story more fully and be more searchable by the right prospects.
Vertical trades are a PR gold mine
The right media strategy hinges on understanding your industry or niche within it. An underrated aspect of our role as PR professionals is to think about how a client’s brand is perceived not only to the writers we contact, but also their audiences. By understanding what compels an outlet’s audience to keep returning for new stories, we can better shape a pitch to hook a writer’s attention.
If a company focuses on B2B tech services, we may naturally target outlets like BizTech or MarTech. Mainstream business outlets like Forbes can also be good targets, but only if the writer’s beat is relevant to the pitch, and the resulting story is searchable. Some journalists receive over 500 emails per day. With so many people contacting them, it’s no surprise they ignore pitches that aren’t suitable.
If you narrow your outreach, you’re more likely to catch a writer’s attention, simply by keeping their audience in mind.
Go narrow, but go deep
Even a clearly superior product or service may not be compelling enough to generate interest from the press, especially in larger outlets, who tend to be pickier about which pitches they read and proactively cover.
But for any topic, from ad tech to supply-chain technology, there is someone who covers it and an audience who reads about it. This opens opportunities beyond the conventional product or service announcements. Most senior executives at high-performing businesses are actually subject-matter experts who hold interesting opinions about industry trends or who may offer stellar insights about their sector. Those views can be parlayed into interviews, bylines articles, op-ed pieces, and other contributed content.
Or, broaden out to the culture of business
Then there are the factors common to nearly every business. Not every story needs to be about a specific industry; in fact, it could be about leadership, culture, team-building, or community. Those topics can seem “soft,” but supported with the right data points and a charismatic founder or senior executive, they can be very powerful.
Ask yourself the following questions:
Is my company or client involved in philanthropy or community work?
Have they adopted strong diversity or ESG initiatives?
Does leadership offer bold, interesting or contrarian opinions on topics of interest to their industry?
If you answered yes to any of these, consider broadening future media outreach. Think about what your company has done differently from competitors and what initiatives they’ve taken to improve company culture.
By exploring social or personal initiatives, you create more opportunities. Crenshaw Communications client Chili Piper is a prime example of a company that pushed traditional boundaries to launch the Citizen of our Planet (COOP) foundation. By extending their workplace culture beyond the company to the broader community, Chili Piper shows its human dimension and comes across as more than just another B2B tech company.
Taking advantage of trades, homing in on industry-specific topics, or, conversely, going outside typical industry stories to engage more broadly, can engage media and their audiences to drive new levels of awareness for a campaign or brand.