Editor Q&A with Erik Missio, editor of The Construction Specifier. Read on to learn more about his marketing viewpoints:
1) Why do you think public relations is an effective marketing tool?
Submitting case studies or bylined articles to magazines can be an excellent way to not only keep your company’s name in the minds of potential partners and clients, but also to showcase the expertise and experience of your employees. While technical articles are a way of sharing knowledge with peers and giving back to one’s own industry, they’re also a means to establish yourself as an expert in that particular field. Armed with an understanding of the various media options, these sorts of PR opportunities can allow you to effectively reach a specific audience.
2) What advice do you have for someone just embarking on a PR program?
For those first embarking on a PR program, it’s crucial to understand not only your message, but also your audience and the medium being used to reach it. In other words, when extolling the virtues of your recently completed hospital project, who are you trying to communicate with – design professionals, general contractor, glass installers, masons, concrete providers, environmental consultants, building owners and facility managers, or the general public?
Beyond coming from distinct perspectives (and knowledge bases), each group is looking for specific ‘takeaways’ when it comes to the articles they read. If you want to position yourself as an objective expert in your field, you must clearly understand the requirements of your particular target.
When submitting bylined articles – whether a recent case study or a technical paper drawing on years of your company’s experience – it’s also critical to understand the needs of the magazine with which you’ll be working. There are hundreds of publications, each with its own style, focus, readership, and rules; what may be perfectly fine for one could be considered too self-congratulatory or advertorial for another. Understanding the parameters up-front can save a lot of headaches for all sides.
Of course, knowing the needs of your audience and those of the magazine you’ve chosen is not always an easy task. Partnering with a dedicated agency familiar with both can be an invaluable decision.