By: Steve Graham
Think like an editor and create compelling messages to your target audience by answering the 5 Ws – who, what, where, when and why – and the one H – how.
As B2B marketers, our job is to deliver key messages to our target audiences. Sometimes the messages stick, sometimes they don’t. If the messages are unique, compelling and help our target audiences solve a particular problem, then we’re more likely to move them along in the buyer’s journey, that is, from prospect to eventual customer.
B2B PR professionals face a similar challenge, though ours is a bit different. Yes, we ultimately want to reach our target audiences, but we do so primarily through editorial channels, or earned media. I’m talking about the editors, writers, journalists, freelancers and influencers who cover our industries. In essence, they are a target audience because they determine which of our messages actually reach the target audiences. They control the content we provide them, and it’s more credible than what the target audiences might see in paid media (for example, online and print ads) and owned media (websites, e-newsletters, etc.).
Like our target audiences, the editorial audience is a discriminating – and often skeptical – lot. They want content that’s unique and compelling and that helps their readers solve a particular problem. And because they’re news people, they’re always looking for stories that answer the five Ws (who, what, where, when and why) and one H (how).
So how do you break through the content logjam and make sure your messages resonate with the editorial audience? First, you need to think and act like an editor, to fully understand what makes a story newsworthy. Here are some tried and true tips that will help you get there:
If you use these tips to guide story development, you’ll gain instant credibility with your editorial audience. Editors will be more likely to publish your story and contact you for additional insights and commentary. And you’ll reach your target audiences with information that’s unique and compelling and helps them solve a particular challenge. That’s how effective PR works. Give it a shot!