5 Things Not to Do if You Want to Get Press Coverage

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Based on Jennings & Associates’ 27 years of experience pitching reporters, editors, and producers, we know what succeeds and what fails when interacting with them. First, we tell you what NOT to do and then explain what you SHOULD do to get press coverage:

1) Don’t answer reporter’s questions – Folks forget, especially in the tech sector, that there7768407 are new people coming into your market niche every day. Don’t expect reporters or your target market to know everything about your company or products. Answer questions. If you don’t have the answer, let the reporter know you’ll find the answer and get back to them promptly.

2) Don’t reply to editorial requests – Even if the request is not up your alley, thank the reporter for thinking about your company and use the opportunity to see if there’s a better fit for commentary in the future.

3) PR firm tees up a great article opportunity, but you don’t respond. In today’s digital world, it’s all about content. Your PR firm is trying to position you as a thought leader in your respective market. Content is king, and if you’re not taking advantage of these content opportunities, your competition definitely will.

4) Distribute boring press announcements (yeah, your product is new, so what?). Many tech companies are guilty of distributing press announcements that are filled with technical jargon that only a handful of people will understand. You might say, “Well, I’m only interested in folks who understand my technology.” Yes, but do they really need to understand all the weeds in your technical soup? What they want to learn about are the benefits. How is this new gizmo/service going to help them? This is one of the first questions that should be answered when developing a new product launch and to garner maximum press coverage.

5) Not listening to your PR advisor. Good PR consultants have learned the hard way what reporters and editors want. Most every great PR person has had a reporter hang up on them (boy, does that sting!) because their pitch was useless. They have honed their craft to be interesting, concise and meet the needs of reporters.

Our Clients Continue to Innovate

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Our clients’ technologies continue to make great inroads to make lives safer and business processes more efficient. Client engineers, product developers and marketers are continually looking at how their specific technology can enter new markets and solve problems, where before, there was no clear answer. Take wireless communications in the oil field from ABB Wireless for example. In the past, a cellular network was the go-to communications network. However, cellular has its limits –, especially in remote field locations. Today’s modern wireless networks are enabling remote visibility to critical wellpad control devices, facilitating faster response if something goes wrong. When it comes to this kind of critical application, the “can you hear me now?” technology can’t deliver the needed reliable data communications in harsh remote locations.

Other “behind the scenes” technologies are power supplies from SL Power Electronics that control critical applications. While power supplies aren’t new, the electrical requirements for medical devices and home health care are pushing engineers to develop more energy-efficient and safer power solutions. These are expanding markets in which developing the latest technology that meets the newest safety standards is key to success. Fortunately, SL Power is at the forefront of developing and introducing the highest level of performance, efficiency and safety. When it comes to medical devices and medical imaging systems, these applications need the best-performing power to drive their operation.

A not so “behind the scenes” innovation comes from our client, Tricopian. The company has taken a whole new approach in keeping smartphones and tablets charged. Imagine you’re at an airport and your phone is low on fuel. Just go to a FuelRod kiosk (bright green; can’t miss them), swipe your credit card, and for $20 out comes a fully charged FuelRod battery. Connect it to your Apple® or Android® phone or tablet and charge up. When you arrive at the next airport, just swap the FuelRod at the kiosk for a new one for free! Pretty ingenious. While the FuelRod kiosks are not at every airport just yet, they’re rolling out across the nation and are available now at busy airports including Atlanta, Las Vegas, San Diego, Oakland and Kansas City to name a few.

It’s such fun to work with these and our other tech clients (not mentioned in this post) who work hard to innovate and deliver tech solutions that make our lives and business processes more enjoyable, efficient and safe.

Happy Marketing!

Why Social Media is Important to Businesses Today

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Social media has caused a monumental paradigm shift in the way businesses communicate with customers, employees, partners, vendors and other stakeholders.  The communications infrastructure of Social Media allows for conversations 24/7, giving companies the ability to react, influence and create meaningful dialogue with customers.  Social Media, when done right can turn naysayers into friends, friends into customers, and customers into evangelists or brand influencers.

Social Network Social Media Business People Outdoors ConceptSocial Media also allows a company to be quickly responsive to industry news, market shifts, customer service and social issues demonstrating that the company is engaged and cares. Case in point: A client was at a major trade show and an attendee tweeted that they went to the client’s booth; however no one would acknowledge him.  The client immediately apologized on Twitter and invited him to come back by the booth. The prospect went back and quickly tweeted how nice the client was and what interesting technology they had. If the client was not paying attention, this person could have turned into a negative influencer. The ability for companies to dialogue and influence prospects quickly can make a significant difference in sales.

Serving Up Fresh, Tasty Editorial Content on Time, Every Time

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Journalism_1 - CopyA public relations agency’s role can be likened to that of a sous-chef who must please two distinctive yet equally important types of people. The chef must prepare and/or supervise the preparation of delectable meals to delight the restaurant’s customers. At the same time,  he/she must satisfy the requirements of the boss – likely the restaurant owner. For example, the food must look and taste delicious – both the customer and restaurant owner insist on those qualities. At the same time, the chef must not spend too much time preparing any one particular dish or spend too much money on the ingredients to make the entrée. After all, the restaurant owner has a budget to meet and a profit to make.

In public relations, the first important person or customer is our client, whom we must satisfy completely by promoting his/her product, technology or service via various outlets such as online and print publications, social media channels as well as at trade shows, forums and symposia. Because a most effective way to promote products and services is still via trade or business magazines and newspapers, we have another customer to serve.
That customer is the editor/journalist/industry analyst of the publication, blog or research report. Trusted relationships with editors/reporters/producers/analysts are key in public relations. Over the years, we’ve developed excellent contacts and continue to nurture these relationships daily. It’s these media professionals – aka industry influencers – whom we approach for thought-leadership coverage. With our high-level focus and strategy, we are skilled at appealing to the editor’s needs for relevant content that readers/viewers learn from and enjoy. At the same time, we are highlighting our clients’ products and services without being overtly commercial. This is a delicate balance, and a recipe for success in managing media relations and meeting or exceeding client expectations.

Editors/journalists/analysts need credible resources for their articles, blogs and research reports. They need to quote experts on the subject matter they are covering. They also need complex technology explained to them so that they can understand it and then write about it for their readers to assimilate. All this researching, writing, and information dissemination takes time. No matter how efficient or effective they may be, these media professionals depend on knowledgeable, trustworthy sources for their material. Fortunately, J&A is there to provide them with the latest technology news and trends from our clients in a timely manner.

In other words, we whet the editor’s appetite for “gourmet” content. We then satisfy that need with our client’s desire for top-tier media exposure. This visibility ultimately leads to increased sales and market share. We serve our client by securing opportunities in top-tier media outlets. We serve our editor by meeting his/her deadlines and providing fresh, informative content. If the timing does not always work out perfectly, we use businesslike diplomacy and, OK, occasional pleading to achieve our goal.

We’ve been successful for over 26 years, so serving two distinct yet equally important persons seems to be working. We trust that our track record will continue, serving up fresh, relevant content to delight the “palates” of clients and editors on time and on budget.

 

Why I love what we do!

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TechnologyIn this time of celebrating our nation’s formation and accomplishments,  it makes me think about how much I’ve learned and how lucky I am to be working with some of the brightest minds and companies that have, in part, helped changed the way we do business. In our marketing communications capacity here at J&A, we oftentimes get an inside view of designers’ and engineers’ work on the next evolution of products and solutions. Over the past 26 years, I have been able to experience great leaps in technology. Fast forward to today, and we have private companies sending rockets to space stations and we can talk/video/chat to anyone around the world for mere pennies. It’s hard for me to conceive of a world without the Internet. Our client’s products and technologies are all instrumental in their varying industries – from protecting vital healthcare and data center systems against the damaging effects of power interruptions, to helping remote oil field workers communicate quickly through wireless networks, enabling greater degrees of safety and efficiencies. We also have clients that provide the technology behind powering LED lighting, and critical medical devices as well as embedded electronics that increase the reliability of UAVs.  The world is changing, and it’s so exciting to be a part of all of this. We love our clients, not just because they are our clients, but for making our world safer, more efficient and even fun! By the way, the next time you’re in an airport and your mobile phone or tablet is running on empty, find a FuelRod kiosk and purchase a FuelRod mobile charger for just $20. Use it up and exchange it for free! Anyone travelling and on a deadline will especially appreciate this new convenience. I know I do.

Until next time,

PJ Jennings

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