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:
- 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.
- Offer select clients a beta version of a new version or feature and negotiate joint media relations as part of the beta package.
- 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.
- 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?