Looking for Validation in Media Relations

We’ve been interviewing to add a new professional to the Y&A team (hooray) and one of our go-to interview questions is how do you get around the challenge of promoting a client whose own clients won’t talk to the media.

In media relations, most journalists are not interested in writing feature stories about vendors unless there is a really compelling story. And in our world of tech PR, what makes for a compelling story is a disruptive technology (which are more uncommon than most marketing teams and entrepreneurs think) and/or end users who are willing to talk about how a solution truly made a difference for their organization. The problem is that many customers are not able to take time out of their schedule to navigate their own corporate communications policies and do a rah-rah interview on why your technology is so great.

Here are a few suggestions to get around this hurdle:

  1. Don’t name the client company or offer an interview, but provide media an unnamed brief case study that includes percentages (not actual numbers) and characterizes the company by industry.
  2. Offer select clients a beta version of a new version or feature and negotiate joint media relations as part of the beta package.
  3. Talk to your smaller clients with perhaps flatter hierarchical structures or that may be hungry for media coverage (major brand names are less likely to participate). Position the opportunity as a way to showcase their industry leadership and innovation.
  4. Offer the publication a byline article that includes some unnamed case study examples around best practices or key industry trends.

What are some of the creative ways you’ve handled this classic PR challenge?


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