Pitch perfect… or tone deaf?

I’ve been thinking a lot about something several PR firms have told me recently: If you’re going to hire a content creator, find one that focuses on your industry, category, or niche. There are two main reasons for that.

But first, I’ll be totally honest. Hiring a PR firm isn’t necessary, just worth considering. You can also choose to do all of this in house (keep reading for a few tips on how). So, just think “Big Picture” here, as this is every bit as relevant regardless of who’s getting your message out and how they’re doing it.

Reason #1: They’ll speak your language

A PR firm that focuses on your industry will know how to talk about your products in a way that resonates with your customer base. And that’s the key, being able to communicate with your customers in ways they like, with information they want. They have the added benefit of also (usually, hopefully) knowing how to give the media the information they want.

If you’re not sure which firms those are, just ask your industry’s media which PR firms they like. You’ll probably find that most endemic media have a few favorites that they like working with. And that’s important, because…

Reason #2: They won’t piss off the media

An industry-specific PR firm will already know your target media, have relationships with them, and can get the word out quickly. But you could also cultivate your own list of relevant media and influencers.

I write about bicycles on Bikerumor. Do you know how many emails I get for cat toys, diamond jewelry, and other crap I don’t care about? Thousands. Do you know what happens to them? Their sender gets blocked. Which means if that person ever actually represented a brand that was relevant to me, I wouldn’t see it.

Do you know why this happens?

Because bad PR people buy generic lists of media so they can tell you they’ll get your message in front of thousands of editors. Good PR people may only get your message in front of 20, but they’re 1,000x more likely to get results.

The takeaway: Focus on relevant media, and only send them relevant messages.

I like that tune, how do we DIY this?

First, you need to find someone that focuses on your niche and knows how to create good marketing content.

You probably already know plenty. Media outlets, bloggers, and content creators that are popular with your customers are a good start. The point is to hire someone that can:

  1. Create the right content for the right audience
  2. Reach the right media (bonus points if they already have a relationship there)

You also want someone that understands your brand’s business objectives and is able to incorporate those into the content campaign.

Please, keep it relevant

Don’t feel like you have to send out a press release just because. It’s far better to reach out only when you have something important to say, and make sure the message is tailored to the outlet’s news angle.

For example, I might write about bikes, but our consumer-facing site doesn’t really cover new hires or personnel promotions. The bike industry trade mags, do. So, it may be worth curating specific sub-lists even within your endemic media master lists.

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