When Industry Knowledge Matters: Who’s Got You Covered?
- Posted on Apr 19, 2012 in CHI Insight
In the manufacturing world, it matters quite a bit what people say about your product. So how do you get the word out, so that customers are talking about what you have to offer?
You can advertise, build a good website, promote your product through email and social media and knock ‘em dead with direct sales, but in manufacturing there is nothing quite like seeing your product featured on the cover of a key trade magazine or website.
How cover stories happen
Did you know the trade media world is always searching for good stories? Every day writers and editors are seeking good story lines that they know their readers wants to see. It is the job of a trade magazine to use its publishing format to inform its readers about industry trends and news. And that makes it your job to help those publications find and feature the benefits and customer values of your product, especially if it is an industry leader.
The process of getting product stories featured in trade publications has changed a little over the years due to reductions in staff at many editorial companies, but the basic premise still holds true: Find out what editors – and their readers – want, or provide an idea that shows how your product solves problems or breaks new ground in the industry.
The role of a PR agency
Writing editorial content that is objective or solutions-focused is not always easy for industry insiders, whose own product bias or pressing corporate objectives can tend to influence the messaging.
That is where a public relations or marketing communications firm can come in handy. Also, tailoring your article for use in an industry publication can put you at odds with the natural goals you want for your product, which is to sell more product and increase market share, and the legitimate needs of the publication, which is to deliver a story about your industry from which everyone can learn.
Finding the middle ground
A public relations agency can help you overcome these challenges and also may either have additional contacts in your industry or be able to develop channels and opportunities for your product to be featured in targeted publications, in print and online.
For example, the April 2012 edition of Site Prep magazine features a cover story on Case Construction Equipment. The article reflects the magazine’s editorial goal of producing an article on how equipment manufacturers are engineering emissions solutions in the construction industry. CHI served as the key catalyst for developing the story in response to the editorial request, then worked collaboratively with the client to gather information and tailor the article to the magazine’s editorial focus and needs.
The final product synthesizes a wide spectrum of technical industry knowledge in an application story that explains the regulations, certifications and solutions one company uses to meet emissions standards, while also addressing the relationship of these efforts to fuel economy and performance.
Readers of Site Prep are the ultimate beneficiaries of the information provided in this cover story, but it also illustrates the benefit of paying attention to industry trades and trends, and who’s got you covered.
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