Tailoring content that B2B editors want
Whether you want to contribute to the latest waste management debate in the recycling press, highlight your latest innovation in cleaning magazines, or gain coverage in any of the myriad of other specialists, tailoring content that editors want takes time and effort. From facilities management to construction, renewable energy and much more besides, the trade press is a bustling and competitive sector, with unique challenges across each different industry.
In our world of information overload, demand for quality technical insight is high, and editors in the B2B sphere are some of the hardest working professionals in the media industry. Equipped with deep knowledge of their sectors, many trade press editors have qualifications and experience in their subject matter, and don’t suffer fools gladly. They will only accept content from reliable sources meeting high technical standards, demonstrating awareness of the latest trends and controversies.
It is important that a PR account manager can craft relevant content based on careful research into the angles and themes that they know target publications are looking for. Turning sometimes dry, technical information into engaging, newsworthy copy is a difficult skill to master, but never a chore for those with a real passion for the industries they write about.
Here are five steps to success:
- Step 1: Know what is coming. Many publications produce media packs containing features lists, and these can often be downloaded from websites. Look ahead to the planned features, and don’t waste an editor’s time pitching material that is not relevant to their magazine.
- Step 2: Know what is happening. You’ve found the feature you want to pitch into, now look at the latest news in that sector. Has a new piece of legislation rocked the recycling world in the last month? Would your client like to comment on the latest facts and figures on sustainability?
- Step 3: Know what has happened. Imagine the frustration of finalising an article, then realising that the publication ran an extremely similar angle the last time that feature came around. Repeating what has been said before is not thought leadership, and will not win column inches.
- Step 4: Know the editor. Not getting a response to your e-mails? Editors are busy people, constantly tackling overlapping deadlines. Have you tried speaking over the phone, or meeting in person? Take any opportunity you can to meet journalists and put a face to a name.
- Step 5: Know the deadline! This should be a given, but amazingly it can be overlooked. Editors set deadlines for a reason. They may be a week or two before publication, but this is to allow for proofing, changes and production. Occasionally leeway is granted, but it’s a seriously bad idea to try their patience on this.
Of course, many editors are also looking for ad-hoc contributions on big topics, as well as interviews and case studies outside of their planned schedule. This is where relationships come into their own – editors who have trust and confidence in the quality of content they receive are also likely to be more receptive to new content, and contact you for comment on other issues.
Specialist, boutique agencies like ours, with sights laser-targeted on the B2B sectors they serve, can be highly effective in this field, demonstrating the agility, tenacity and technical knowledge required to please all parties.