With today’s devastating economic conditions, bad news is everywhere. The morning paper is filled with headlines about layoffs, plant and store closings, stalled sales, corporate losses and bailouts, in addition to the usual crime and natural disaster news. Sometimes it makes you wonder why you even bothered to get out of bed!
Things are no different in the business-to-business marketing arena.
We’re all dealing in one way or another with budget cuts, sales declines and layoffs … and this negative environment can color the way we do our jobs, as marketers, if we’re not careful.
Last week, several Detroit-area journalists reminded a group of PR professionals that there still is a market for positive news in a negative environment. In fact, these reporters suggested that good news is perhaps more important than ever.
Here are a few of their tips to score your company some of that positive coverage:
Be aware of what other news is breaking. Don’t let negative news get in your way, but if there’s a huge negative story breaking, hold off on your pitch until you can grab the reporter/editor’s attention.
Don’t give up, but be aware that due to advertising cuts, there may be less room and more competition for your news story in print or broadcast media. Remember, however, that even if your story doesn’t make it to air or print, the online versions or your target media often offer virtually unlimited space and solid exposure for your story … and may give your story legs via cyberspace.
Be proactive and call a reporter with a positive pitch – especially if it concerns a company expansion, growth, investments or job creation … and be prepared to give her/him enough facts, access to the right spokespeople and perhaps outside expert or analyst contacts to round out the story.
Make sure you are pitching a story that exemplifies a trend or issue, perhaps one that shows how your organization is coping with hardship; developing a game-changing product, service or technology; shifting into a promising new market, etc. … and/or a story that inspires hope.
And most of all, remember that while bad news may sell, reporters and editors are probably just as tired of writing negative stories as you are of reading/watching/listening to them.