After many years producing mostly marketing content for vendors, I’m finding myself doing more technology reporting. That means reaching out to IT vendors for their take on industry trends or customer references.
That is, when I can find a human being to email. In the several years I’ve been away from the reporting game, it seems someone removed many of the “press contact” links on vendor home pages. What I instead often see are lead-snagging “bots” that pop up and ask me if I’d like a demo (“No.”) or what challenges I’m facing (“Digital transformation? No.”)
Clicking over to the “Contact Us” page often brings me to a generic form that is, again, clearly designed to snag sales leads. I sometimes leave my query there, but I never know if it will get to someone versed in PR rather than sales, and there’s the risk the query will be lost in the internal shuffle.
Another trick I use to find a media relations person is to go to the “news” section, assuming that each press release will have the name of a media contact. But amazingly, there’s often no contact person listed on the press release, just “Follow Us on Social Media” links. And the media contact list is often buried several sub-pages down within the “news” section.
I certainly get the IT trade press has long since ceased being the only, or even the prime, source of information for IT buyers. However, being mentioned in a “real” publication that editors strive to make impartial and authoritative still holds cachet. That’s why, when I finally get hold of a human being at a vendor, they’re genuinely eager to find me a source to snag a mention in the publication.
If mention in the press is still valuable, and especially if you’re paying in-house staff or external PR pros, why make it so hard for time-pressed reporters to get hold of you?
Include a “media” or “press” contact at the bottom of your home page, and on every press release you publish. Adding a contact name and information (if not of the author, then to a PR contact) to every blog post would also help in case a reporter likes the insights they’re seeing and want more.
And, of course, make sure that contact person checks their email and has some training in how to respond to press inquiries. If it’s worth paying someone to generate content you hope will see the light of day, make it less of a wild goose chase for reporters to find you.
(And speaking of coverage opportunities, if you’d like to be on my revived editorial calendar of current reported stories email me.)