As an agency that helps technology companies promote their products and services within the IT channel, one of our key responsibilities is scoring news coverage. And we like that because the tech trade media is one of the best way to help solution providers — our clients’ target audience — learn more about emerging trends and business-building opportunities. Unfortunately, a lot of companies are not prepared to talk the talk.
Here are 5 ways you can sabotage coverage:
Delaying Response — When news breaks, you need to be there. Quickly. Sure, you’ve got a business to run, but if you don’t prioritize the media, they won’t prioritize you. They’ve got a deadline to hit. The faster you can make yourself available, the more likely you are to be a part of the story. Of course, a quick response may not allow you to share the refined message you’d ideally communicate, but adding your voice to the noise as it happens ensures you’re counted and visible — and that’s huge. It also positions you as a highly reliable source and increases the likelihood a reporter will call you the next time news breaks.
Disengaging — You’re busy. We get it. But consider empowering your leadership team to respond to news opportunities as they happen. It’s not easy to let others speak for you (or the company), but slowing the approval process could be worse. Timing is critical. Be available or get out of the way. But by that we don’t mean …
Disappearing — Do NOT put out a press release and then head out of town (or lock yourself in meetings). I can’t tell you how frustrated reporters get when they call for an interview (after having just received our press release) and I tell them the exec isn’t available until next week because they’re “on the road.” I once had a reporter ask me if there weren’t any phones where this exec was going. I can’t argue that point. Make time for reporters or let your business-subject-matter-experts do the job. Not kidding.
Duplicating News — Me-too concepts don’t work. Stay off that bandwagon. Look at ways your company is reinventing channel go-to-market strategies and promote it. How are you doing things differently? Even small changes can be newsworthy if they don’t subscribe to convention. It’s way too easy to glom onto trends. Resist that low-hanging fruit and think about WHY these trends matter and how your organization helps your customers capitalize on them.
Dawdling — Okay, so this one’s a bit of a stretch, but I needed a final Dee word. What I mean to say here is that you shouldn’t wait too long to share your news. Don’t wait until every possible detail has been painstakingly examined. Do your diligence, but don’t test, test, test and test again. It’s a balancing act to be certain. Look for ways to announce new programs, products and other channel goodness by couching them around terms like “beta” or similar positioning. This way you’re presenting an honest accounting of your offerings and capabilities, while also getting the word out to your channel partners.
Scoring ink (even the digital kind) requires ongoing engagement. And if you want to be quoted (So You Say You Want News Coverage? Here’s How to Get Quoted), it takes some deeper thought. We can show you how. Let us know when you’re ready.