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Posted on by St John

What the Logistics industry needs to know about handling the media

Prova’s logistics industry team is staffed by a mix of former journalists and marketing types who understand what makes the media tick. We deal with editors every day and understand what really annoys them – and what really turns them on!

Getting your approach right with the media is crucial if you’re going to achieve powerful coverage in the right media – for free! Anyone can pay for an advertorial in a magazine that nobody reads, but it’s a real skill to secure free coverage based on its editorial content. Here are our top five tips for logistics businesses looking to harness the power of the media.

1. Know your target publication
One of journalists’ top pet hates are press releases that have been written with no one in particular in mind, in a style that doesn’t suit their title, containing news of little interest to their audience. So a press release about a firm opening new premises in Sheffield sent to the Manchester Evening News, will only annoy an editor. Think about who will actually be interested in the story and what titles they will read. Don’t write generic news releases and shower the media with flaky stories like confetti. It’s all about quality not quantity!

2. Make contact
All too often, businesses don’t spend the time to research the right contact at a specific magazine and end up sending news items to the wrong person. It’s important to develop a genuine relationship with the right journalists, who by and large appreciate proactive contact from businesses that can keep them updated on developments in the logistics industry. Invest in developing a robust list of media contacts and spend the time cultivating these contacts.

3. Stay away from self-promotion
One of the surest ways to get your story ‘spiked’ or binned by a journalist is to write about your business in a biased, overinflated way. Making unsubstantiated claims about your company or product will simply get your news filed under ‘spam’. And the trouble is, once you brand your business as a supplier of ‘non-news’ to an editor, you risk being blacklisted. It might be very tempting to write pages about your company’s fascinating new adoption of waste paper bins, but this is unlikely to be of interest to the readers of HSS, Logistics Manager or SHD. Keep it factual, keep it newsy. Ask yourself; does this pass the ‘so what’ test?

4. Please don’t call!
One of the top ‘pet hates’ of journalists, usually committed by PR agencies, is the dreaded follow-up call after a press release has been issued. This crime is usually committed by a junior member of the team, who’s given a list of editors to call and a copy of the press release that was written by someone else. Unless there’s an error in the story or something additional that an editor might need to know after the press release was issued, making a chasing up call will only irritate a writer.

5. Be accessible
Once a journalist is interested in following up a news story or feature, they are likely to have a clear deadline, which means they need to talk to you quickly. There are few more frustrating things for editors than receiving a press release with a contact number that does not work. Make sure you’re available if an editor does want to progress the story and be aware that they will need your support urgently. Not getting back to a journalist’s call is the best way of ensuring they won’t bother calling again!

To find out more about dealing with the media, why not give one of the Prova team a call on 01926 776 900 and ask for St. John, David or Faye. Alternatively, you can email us on stjohnw@provapr.co.uk or davidp@provapr.co.uk.

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