Industrial marketing today is driven by the ease of getting information on just about anything quickly from the internet. Knowledgable engineers subscribe to many email newsletters and depend on them to keep them abreast of trends and best practices. Those monsters need to be fed!
Industrial PR is easier to do today because of email.
Long gone are the photo prints, letters and stamps. Today a good industrial PR professional can write and distribute a release in a few days.
It's important to know the editors and media sales reps
Speak to them by name and know how the game is played:
- Publications need advertising to survive - Maybe if you are a starlet and every move you make is news you don't have to pay to play but that's not a good long term strategy for industrial marketing. Sure editors will always publish brand new products and technology but you'll die a death of a thousand cuts if you wait for new products. Normally that only happens every five or ten years!
- Purchase display advertising in your top three publications - Survey your customers and run advertising in the top three publications. Besides getting preference for publicity you will also be asked to contribute technical or application articles.
- At least purchase Buyer's Guide Listings in the magazines that publish your PR - You can't place expensive advertising in every publication but buyer's guides are very popular with publishers and you should be in them if they are a reasonable cost. You have to be fair to the publications. If you expect them to run you publicity, you would be a hypocrite if you didn't want your company's name included in their buyer's guide.
- Thank the editor for his work - Editors and sales reps are human too. a thank you and a compliment go a long way for them to remember you and ask for your experience when needed. We always give the sales rep one of our famous Swiss Army knives when the stop by and pass them out at press conferences we have at trade shows.
New is best, but a good cutaway is Okay too
You can't come up with a new product or application every quarter, but you do need to promote something on a regular basis.
- Brand new product - Will always get published and maybe even make the cover.
- General product release - Try to make them application specific to the publication.
- Business news - It might get into print.
- Appointments - Usually this gets published online.
- New hires - Good luck. You'd be better off sending a letter of introduction.
Keep track of what's published, PR is worth four times advertising
People just believe it more. We value each release publication as if it was placed as an advertisement. If we only expect something to be published once in a year, it's a 1x rate. If it's our regular publication for advertising, we use the 6x rate. And we include color if it's color. We normally use the published rates, although publications offer deep discounts off the published rates. It's not the perfect method, but it's easy and consistent. A typical quarterly campaign can generate ove $20,000 in publicity. Some PR professional say that PR is worth four times the ad space rate because it is perceived as more believable than advertising. Both work together. If you don't do publicity with your advertising, you're only getting 20% of the value you paid for.
We're going the same work as ten years ago for less compensation
We face the same productivity pressures as our clients and their customers. You have to do the same work for less. Email and the internet help us do that. All of my communication is through email and we use an Excel spread sheet to keep track of what, when and who we sent things to. As well as the value achieved.
Stay in touch with your customers and prospects
Now that you have received all that publicity online, it's time to share it across your social media. It should at least include LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook. Search the internet for your headline and bingo; you have a page to share. A quick tag line and a URL of the publicity is all that is needed. Use it to fill in between releases.
Do you have more serious problems than worrying about publicity? To get your feet back on the ground, read the following e-Book for advice on the basics of marketing from your MBA class. Or learn more from our Marketing Handbook page.