Trylon Communications  - Volume I Issue 4

Piggyback PR

One of the traps that marketing executives fall into is the search for “newsworthy” stories within their organization.  They may be missing potential publicity opportunities by not looking outside their company.

One of the best ways to obtain favorable press results is to "piggyback" on a current trend or news story - i.e. find a way to fit what your company is doing into the overall trend/story.  This is probably the most obvious opportunity, and one that savvy marketers look for.

Keep an eye on the local press as well as your trade media.  When you spot an article that contains information that relates to your company, analyze the opportunity and take action. 

You may wish to call attention to how your company impacts that particular issue by contacting the writer of the article.  What you do not want to do is issue a general press release on the subject that no one will read. There may be an opportunity to bring this issue and story to the attention of your local media and comment upon it as the local expert.

As always, the key is to be absolutely certain that there is a relevant connection between the news story and your company.  You don’t want the media getting the idea that you are trying to find an excuse to get your company some publicity – you want them believing that you have a substantial contribution to make regarding current events.

Another opportunity that many executives overlook is media attention that is paid to their partners, vendors and customers.  In many cases a news story on a company that is somehow connected to yours may have direct relevance to your company or its products. 

In some cases there may be actual references to your company.  If this is the case, then it is appropriate that the article be included in your media kit.  In any case, you may wish to take advantage of the opportunity to establish or improve your relationship with the writer of the article by providing additional information or background on your product or service.

Finally, there are never enough opportunities to become a legitimate voice in your community.  When an article or topic appears that has relevance to your firm, take the time to craft an editorial on the significance of the event.  This can take the form of a letter to the editor or just a quick acknowledgement of the article to the journalist.  The simple fact that you took the time to read the article and respond to it can go a long way towards nurturing those very important media relationships.