Why Researching Tech Reporters Is Important.
It seems like a lot of work to research every writer relevant to your subject, but the reality for tech firms is that we are talking about no more than a handful of - usually highly specialised and knowledgeable - individuals.
This is the great advantage of working in tech – your product is generally aimed at an easily defined vertical, so by extension your story is aimed at a pretty limited group of writers and editors.
As ‘earned media’, media coverage is a key component of any inbound strategy, conferring as it does the credibility of the media reporting it onto your product, firm or leadership. And as content goes, ‘news’ is among the most effective for attracting engagement, particularly for the tech and healthcare industries. Meantime, purchasers researching tech consider that media coverage ranks among the most trustworthy sources of information informing their purchase decision. In short, for a tech firm's inbound campaign, there are very few types of content as valuable or as trusted as media coverage among your key audience.
It is common enough for start-ups and early stage firms to approach editors only to be rebuffed, and told to come back when they have a story to tell, customers, etc. Editors are very busy, often receiving hundreds of pitches weekly. Thus their attention span is extremely short, and they will only really focus and invest their attention if they are quickly shown that there is a story to be told – whether that's an interesting customer story, tech innovation, new business model, investment, the involvement of a well-known industry figure and so on.
A good way to achieve this is by developing a relationship with the editor in question. This does not mean trying to be 'best friends' with them (if you try this approach you will quickly find that journalists and editors already have enough friends), but just by establishing a ‘conversation’ – whereby you continually keep them informed of developments in your company. It comes as a surprise to a lot of people that most editors actually do read most of the pitch mail in their inbox – but over 80% regularly do. So, when your 'big' news comes along – whatever it may be - your editor will be more open to reading your pitch if they come to it with an informed view. We call this keeping our editors informed ‘storytelling’, and it gives enough background and insight, so the editor in question isn’t coming to your news without having some of the detail already sketched in.
This approach also allows your chosen editor(s) to establish that you are not a time waster. Surprisingly, many approaches to the media are made without any thought to the next steps of the process – what supplementary information you have at hand and in what format, who will be spokesperson, who will be spokesperson for any third party like a customer, what photos are to hand etc. These details are important - if you can establish yourself as a reliable source of good industry information in a timely fashion, it will stand your future pitches in very good stead.
Obviously these details can be handled in house, but they are time consuming, and it takes a certain type of expertise to carry it all off convincingly. But if you do you, will achieve the most engaging and credible type of content for your company: news.
(Pic: Japanese Maple)