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Tips of the Trade Publications

Steve Staedler – Account Supervisor, Public Relations

Clients have great stories to tell, but getting their editorial pieces in front of the right audiences can be challenging. This is especially true in B2B, where the available media that target a client’s key demographics are limited.

The process of placing a story begins with a pitch to let an editor know that you have a story that you feel would be a good fit for their audiences. You’ll be up against countless other stories vying for limited space, so making a good first impression with the pitch is critical. These four tips can help give your story the best chance to make it to print or online.

Know the publication – Research the publication you’re pitching to and familiarize yourself with the kinds of articles it publishes. Do they run stories submitted by agencies or end-users, or do they just publish articles written by the staff? Have they published similar content to the story you’re pitching? Are there upcoming special editions or topics that would be a good fit? Knowing this information will show an editor your familiarity with and interest in their publication and will help you craft your pitch and resulting story to be more successful.

Know the audience – Who exactly are the target audiences of the publication or website you’re pitching to? Your proposed topic needs to speak directly to those audiences with supporting arguments, tips or other information that will be useful to them. Editors go to great lengths to ensure the content they run best serves their audience, and making your story’s relevance obvious in the initial pitch keeps it in the running.

Provide value – The content in trade publications and associated websites can be very technical in nature. Editors are looking for articles that provide a resource to their readers. Your pitch should highlight the novel concepts you will be presenting and any ties to larger trends or events in the industry that would add relevance to the story. When done right, the final story should present the client as a thought leader in its field.

Deliver on the deliverables – Editors operate under tight deadlines. If the editor is expecting a story package with 1,200 words and four high-resolution photos by a certain date, you need to deliver. Missing deadlines not only places added stress on the production schedule of the publication or site, but you lose credibility with the editor which could affect future pitches.

Earning media placements is not an exact science, and there is a bit of luck involved. However, doing some basic homework up front and communicating that extra effort to the editors sets both you and your client up to turn that pitch into a homerun.


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