by Chuck Bates

During the course of the last year, dgs Marketing Engineers has recognized the evolving role general business media can play for business-to-business companies. As a result, we have been working to take client Public Relations to the next level. This next level involves venturing out of our usual manufacturing and industry media outlet comfort zones to target more mainstream media.

We look at PR opportunities from every possible angle to determine how we can attract the attention of newspaper and television media outlets. This has been a challenge because, obviously, not all news can be effectively pitched to such high-level outlets in a way that makes it a viable newsworthy item with reader or viewer attraction.

However, pitch-worthy client news is on the rise, and we’ve achieved several successful mainstream media placements for dgs clients. These placements have included articles in nationally recognized newspapers and segments on network television news programs. And while they are huge PR wins for our clients, they’ve been somewhat of a learning experience for us.

We’ve learned that mainstream newspaper and television reporters are nothing like the manufacturing trade publication. For them, it’s more effective to send a press release or invitation closer to the event date. Done too early and you risk the reporter forgetting about your event.

When it comes to mainstream media outlets, it’s not enough to send a blanket invitation and release to reporters. You need to find the right people, talk to them directly and send invitations directly to the relevant reporters.

While some things are different, some will remain the same. Follow-up will always be critical. No matter how many times you’ve talked to reporters, and how many times they said they’d cover your event. There’s always the risk they will simply forget, or a bigger news item will come along and steal your thunder.

Dealing with mainstream media has been a challenge, but we’ve become quite good at it and will continue to take our PR efforts to the next level. And besides, it does wonders for our egos to have a reporter from The Wall Street Journal or television station WGN in Chicago call our offices requesting an interview with one of our clients as a result of our PR efforts.

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