Getting ahead in the age of distraction
Selling stories to the media is one of the main activities integrated communications consultants do on a regular basis. Consultants that work within tech communications will often have a mix of business-to-business (B2B) and business-to-consumer (B2C) clients. These two client types differ enormously when it comes to selling stories to journalists.
So what are the differences and the similarities when selling stories to the media, whether it’s for a B2B- or B2C-focused publication?
Is your B2B or B2C story worth the read?
Stories should be interesting for magazine or blog readers, yet not too long or complicated. So how do you create a story that is personal, relevant or tangible and, at the same time, makes an editor want to write about it?
Picture this: Your client sells enterprise security software and discovers a leak in a phone-based operating system.
What is the best way to sell this story? Simple: This leak affects millions of product users, including me, you or even the editor, herself. By personalizing the problem and explaining how it can affect just about anyone with a phone could be hacked, it suddenly isn’t such a technical story anymore, but actually something that hits home.
Integrated communications consultants often find it easier to sell stories to B2C journalists because there is usually a physical product involved, and it’s easy to identify with merchandise you may already be using or are familiar with.
Compared to B2C companies, there are usually less editors and outlets that write about B2B companies, so the media landscape is often more limited. So, as B2B editors are approached by countless agencies and companies each day, it is very important to determine top media stories to pitch, as you don’t want to irritate them with non-news items. B2C journalists are often eager to receive the newest products from different suppliers, so they won’t mind as much if you pitch them regularly.
Selling stories to the media is about relationships
Regardless of whether it’s B2B or B2C, selling stories to the media requires you to develop and nurture relationships with reporters if you want to get your foot in the door faster. However, for both types of clients, make sure you have worthwhile and relevant news. The most important thing to understand is that storytelling represents the key to grabbing and keeping a journalist’s attention.
It doesn’t matter whether you are selling stories to editors that specialize in B2C or B2B stories, the main goal is to make those editors care. If an editor doesn’t care about the product or service you are pitching, then he or she will not take the time to review the product, write an article or conduct an interview.
So the main goal to keep in mind when selling stories to the media: Make whomever it is you’re selling them to believe in the product or service. More importantly, make them believe it’s worth their time!