Creating and implementing effective B2B marketing and communications campaigns requires a deep understanding of your business and industry. Our associates offer our clients decades of combined experience and a passion for complex industries. Vince McMorrow, vice president, discusses how making a writer’s job easier can lead to more earned media coverage for an organization.

Why is earned media important to a brand’s marketing and communications strategy?

Media coverage can significantly impact brand visibility and reputation, especially in the B2B verticals, where innovation and market presence are crucial. Crafting compelling stories, engaging with key media outlets, and showcasing your company's unique value propositions can all help enhance visibility and reputation. But it's also important to align your media strategy with your overall marketing and business goals to maximize the impact of your efforts.

What should clients know before implementing an earned media strategy?

Earned media from a distinguished editorial source provides a third-party endorsement of your product or service, including credibility that advertising can’t buy. Additionally, these opportunities build strong brand awareness by positioning the company and its spokespeople as knowledgeable, innovative thinkers on emerging trends and technology.

Before submitting a byline or offering a subject matter expert as a source, it’s essential that clients know these articles are mostly brand neutral, and companies often cannot directly promote their products and solutions. The media opportunity should focus more on promoting the company’s subject matter expert as an industry spokesperson and thought leader capable of offering best practices that make a reader’s job easier or inform them of a rising trend or topic.

What are some best practices for approaching a media opportunity?

You might have a product or service to sell, but trade media outlets often specialize in specific technology areas. For example, if your business is in IT, understand the outlet’s focus areas, such as data centers, co-location, cybersecurity, AI, cloud computing, etc., to tailor your communications accordingly. It’s also important to read the publication, site, or blog to be familiar with the media you are targeting. Editorial calendars are a great place to find targeted ideas and opportunities to share your company’s angle on current trends and industry issues.

How can brands stand out in a time where newsrooms are shrinking and media placements are more competitive?

With many trade publications operating with just a handful of writers and editors, we as an agency are expected to do more of the heavy lifting in terms of providing the content and sources. To be a better partner to the media, whether it’s a pitch or a byline, I do all the legwork I can for a publication and put them in a position where all they have to do is look at the content and approve it. Don’t wait for them to ask. Send additional photos. Provide image captions. Do anything you can to make a writer or editor’s job easier.

What are some of the tactics agency associates use to build relationships with the media for their clients?

Availability and flexibility are key. Make your company spokesperson as available as possible for interviews, comments, or background information. We promptly respond to media inquiries to maintain a positive relationship and offer our mobile number in case any last-minute requests arise. It’s a 24/7 news cycle, and the vast news resources available have increased competition for audience and advertiser attention. This pressures the media to deliver the latest news most compellingly to stay ahead of competitors. Anything we can do to alleviate that pressure goes a long way in building trust and rapport with a publication.

Pitching the trade media newsworthy information is essential for capturing a reporter’s attention. At Fahlgren Mortine, many of our associates spent years in newsrooms, so we understand what a journalist is looking for in a pitch. We try to work with our clients to identify how their products and solutions align with industry trends. We offer publications exclusive insights, data, or interviews that provide value to their audience. This can help you build a strong relationship with writers and editors and increase the chances of your news being covered.

Click here if you’d like to get in touch and learn how Fahlgren Mortine’s B2B experts can help you meaningfully engage your stakeholders. Also, connect with Vince on LinkedIn.