How to employ the trade/technical press in market-communications?

Is press release work camouflaged advertising?

For the field of the public press (Consumer goods advertising) this question could partly be answered positively. Regarding the trade/technical press (Business-to-business) this needs not to be true. Unfortunately it is considered so by some advertising companies, however. There press release work is mistakingly seen as a cheap possibility to launch free “advertisements” in the editorial part of technical journals. Many companies often also presume that press releases “have to be payed for” with advertisements.

Only with that in mind one can understand, what rubbish is delivered to the editor’s desk. Don’t they get the feeling to be the waste-bin of the nation? Regarding the fact, that even we ourselves as technical journalists receive press releases about politics, foreign sale or similar things, this clarifies that often so called “press distribution lists” are completely unqualified filled with everything that is somehow “smelling” like press. It’s just postage cost or email nearly without cost, if editors are quite molested by mass-emailings. By the way: this costs good reputation, but some do not even mind. And when the editor publishes something – press is press.

Also the “advertising language” in “manuscript form” that in fact is impudence to journalists and editors reflects this opinion. But of course this could be very different, because the majority of technical journal readers, portal- or community-users considers product news useful.

Numbers of user surveys from trade journals and online media prove it. This confirms what professionals have known for a long time: the specialist press needs the information of the providers; The companies need the publications - something that can be merged.

Therefore a skilled specialist agency makes every effort to select the titles for press releases very carefully. It is also permissible to use the magazines / portals / communities at the periphery of the respective market, but not those that are completely "beside".

This approach is also a cost-effective form of market testing for medium-sized companies. When these titles / portals publish the information and resonance is reached, the provider may have a new market, which he can exhaust in the future.

Of course even with a qualified selection, not all titles and online media will bring anything from the press. Completely logical, because all companies compete for the editorial space.

That manuscripts will be rejected at the periphery is therefore also more than understandable. It seems almost anecdotal when, in specialist media in the central market, the editorial department evaluates the information as "uninteresting for the readers" and shortly afterwards calls the representative of the media to acquire advertisements!

The task of the experienced specialist agency

Their task is to provide the specialist media with in-depth and factual information about the product, solution or performance. This is what their readers want to read in the editorial section. Of course, the provider of the solution is integrated, but not in the advertising way of advertising.

This is comparable to the task of generating "white papers" for print and online use. Here, too, the solution and the benefit to the user must be worked out, if possible without a commercial ballast.

Time structure

Press scripts run differently from print or online ads. While you can specify the date, size, color, etc., and pay the price of the circuit, you can get the press release free of charge. For this, the editor is given the right to decide whether, when and how the manuscript is published. This is also the reason for professional agencies to follow press work in specialist journals and online media and to evaluate the publications.

Press work does not have to be creeping ...

... but an effective means of market information to achieve a high credibility for products and companies in the editorial section of the specialist media, print and online - a positive image through "more neutral" information. Specialist agencies are the interface to work with the media at a factual and informative level that is acceptable to the editors.

The success through publications, both nationally and internationally, confirms this approach.

Optimize press release work through personal relationships

Besides a professional preparation of press manuscripts we can only recommend the care of personal relationships to editorial staff of technical/business journals. Building contacts, taking care of them and leading them into the future is part of the task of "brand management" nowadays.

It is clear that it is not that easy to incorporate the “Know-How” in the normal flow of operation and daily routine, especially for medium-sized companies. Therefore we offer our services in synchronization to the needs of our customers.

Benefit of the press work:

  • Increase awareness
  • Image as a "neutral informer" of the market
  • Generation and establishment of "search terms" for search engines
  • Market test where products and services can be placed
  • Conclusions from the publications and resonances for the economic use of the media budget

The author Jörn Jacobs is Diplom-Kaufmann (German MBA) and CEO of IHW Marketing GmbH, a full-service advertising agency for medium-sized companies.
Brand-building, brand-establishing and brand-development restricted by budgets of various sizes and clients’ demands are a focus in the company’s work; technical journalism for journals and internet are a given means in Marketing.

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