How a Technology PR Agency Can Meet the Needs of Today’s B2B Editor

A guest post by Graham Pitcher, Group Editor, New Electronics

In my last post I talked about the changing role of B2B print publications. Of course trade media also address a world well beyond print circulation – at New Electronics, for instance, we have a website, Twitter feed, Facebook, LinkedIn, ezines and so on, with readers around the globe. All these outlets have different requirements; they complement the magazine, but in no way do they – or, might I suggest, could they – replace it.

However, there is one thing common between all of these elements – content. And that’s always been the role of the PR company. But it’s not the relationship it once was.

Today, I need to work closely with PR companies to develop the content I want for New Electronics. Often, this is through interviews with the ‘right people’ at clients, but sometimes it’s through contributed articles. Contrast this with the ‘good old days’, when I got abusive phone calls from PRs with ‘more front than Brighton’, complaining that I hadn’t run their (often poor quality) press releases.

We generate many of the ideas for features ourselves, then link back to the relevant PR companies to facilitate. But it’s a two way street – and when there’s two of us (Tim Fryer and me), but many PR companies, the traffic inevitably flows towards me, rather than away.

So there is a lot of room in my world for PR companies, but there’s a lot more room for those who help me achieve our goals for New Electronics.

How can they do that? By getting to understand what we want to achieve and how their clients fit within that framework. The aggressive attitude of the past – ‘you never write about my client’ – isn’t a good starting point because there’s often a good reason for that.

Good agencies are proactive. They look at the editorial programme and think about how their client’s technology might fit, then come to me with suggestions – either call or send me bullet points in an email. And the good agencies understand who they are are targeting; New Electronics’ content is technology articles, not new products. If clients want product coverage, the contact is the web editor.

And all agency personnel should read Caroline Hayes’ recent blog before they approach any editor.

2013-07-15T10:51:38+00:00 July 15th, 2013|

3 Comments

  1. Ford Kanzler July 15, 2013 at 3:19 pm

    Good points but it has always been thus. “Read my book” (know the outlet’s editorial focus) has been the cry of Journalists to PR pros for decades. That some still don’t get it has also always been so. That much better for PR people paying attention.

  2. Irmgard Lafrentz July 15, 2013 at 4:15 pm

    Good points here. I work for over 25 years with editors from around the world. They all have the same complaint: Agency PR account people have no clue how to obtain what an editor wants from their client, let alone have the knowledge themselves. I think agencies need to invest in common sense training and both client and agency need to invest in each others training. Great reading, Graham

    • lewis tonkinson July 16, 2013 at 1:44 pm

      Irmgard – there are certainly a fair number of agencies out there who not
      only don’t understand how to make an effective client/editor bridge, and
      in the technical arena this is often because client teams simply do not
      understand what their clients do. Indeed the reason we started Pinnacle
      was because we saw a need for an agency that truly understood technology
      companies at an engineering level and could use this knowledge to deliver
      exactly what the technical and trade media were looking for.

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