How to Successfully Pitch Credible Content

In the transportation and supply chain industries, trade publications are still widely read and respected. Their readers are a high-value audience who subscribe because of their interest in the published topics.

James Street Associates recently hosted a three-session Earned Media Strategy webinar for TMSA. It was a great opportunity for media relations and marketing people to share ideas for creating and pitching authentic content. 

Earned media—editorial placements that result mostly from news releases and pitches—captures the single most-valuable impression a publication has to offer. Correct or not—people tend to believe what they read in an article more than what they see in an ad. Therefore, earned media gives your message higher credibility.

Though not as credible, paid media (aka advertising) has its own value that comes from presenting your message and brand identity in a controlled way that can be repeated.

Another key difference between these two channels is that placing earned media is much more competitive than placing paid media, because there is a limited amount of earned media space in each issue of a publication.

Adding to the challenge of placing earned media is the natural tension between marketing practitioners and editors, not unlike that between a buyer and a seller. If an editor perceives that you are trying to “sell them” your message, they are less likely to be receptive. You immediately move ahead of your competition when you demonstrate your respect for the editorial process by providing accurate, non-promotional information in a timely fashion.

Establishing and keeping trust with your editorial contacts is fairly simple—deliver on what you promise, honor deadlines, and don’t be a pest.

Of course, it’s essential that you also have a good story to tell. Delivering useful, credible content will open the door—and keep it open—at the publications you need to reach.

Our own research with the logistics trade media editors reveals that only about one in 10 pitches result in published articles. On top of that, these editors report that they use less than 10 percent of all the news releases they receive.

The people who participated in our earned media sessions report that they get the best return on their pitches when they already have an established relationship with the publication staff.

During this time when we still don’t have many opportunities for face-to-face discussions, keep pitching—and don't forget your best practices for media relationships:
•    Email pitches that are short, factual, and non-promotional;
•    Understand what topics the publication covers and who its readers are;
•    Highlight a solution that others can use; and
•    Keep your promises about deadlines.

The negative stereotype of a PR person evokes a schmoozing and truth-stretching character, constantly pulling rabbits from hats. If that isn’t you, congratulations—there are better ways to achieve success.

Remember, trust is at the core of healthy relationships with editors and reporters. It will greatly enhance your efforts to place credible content about the valuable solutions your company has developed for supply chain users.

Like this kind of content?

Join TMSA for education, connections and resources specific to the transportation and logistics industry. Learn More

Share this post:

Comments on "How to Successfully Pitch Credible Content"

Comments 0-5 of 0

Please login to comment