As a member of the press, the time leading up to a trade show can be both exciting and distracting, as every exhibiting company at the show is hitting you up for meetings.
Yes, they are making a big investment to be at the show and they want to tell people about it. But for an industry that turns little attention to marketing, the use of the targeted and paid-for press release may be one of the biggest wastes.
That is why I have to ask integrators who are also using these as a vehicle to share information ... what are you thinking?
I get it; the press release has been used for well over 100 years. That type of track record seemingly indicates that this is the best method. However, it isn’t.
When is the last time you really read a press release? These days I know that the important headlines will be delivered to me on demand via the vehicles I choose to consume them on such as online publications, social networks and email from trusted sources.
By and large as an integrator your press release isn’t going to be the thing that drives attention to your business. In short, you would create press releases to accomplish two things.
- To create awareness for your clients and prospects about a service or promotion or product that you are offering;
- To create more awareness to your industry about your business for potential placement.
Maybe some media outlets are scouring the wire for your release, or finding it in their overstuffed email inboxes, but don’t expect that this is how your story is being discovered, especially by customers. And as integrators your limited marketing budgets shouldn’t be spent on press releases. This is precisely why commercial integrators need to try something else.
Post the Release to Your Site as News or Blog: The growth of the business website has made it easier than ever for brands to avoid costly releases that aren’t seen. Instead write a quick article or a series of articles about your new offerings, partnerships, etc. These can then be posted on your site and easily shared.
Create Social Updates: Social media provides plenty of opportunity for the industry to see your content. Send previews and updates to your special news and topics. Take the blog that you created and make that the link from your share.
Produce and Share a Video: People love to consume content as a video. With video production costs being fractional and easy in the mobile device world, capture a video and look to use low costs (no cost) production software and then post to your site and YouTube.
Go 1:1 With Your PR: Once you have done all of the above, start networking and making contacts. For media within the industry there are only a few outlets. Make contacts at your local media as well as your industry trades and then share with them real, high impact ideas that will help them. This is by far your best chance of getting your blogs, videos and social shares seen.
In short, the press release for the integrator has seen its best days. Now we must find a new way to be found, seen and heard.
Daniel Newman is the founder of BroadSuite Consulting, a specialized consulting firm that focuses on helping brands and businesses to be found, seen and heard online. Prior to finding BroadSuite, Newman spent his entire career in various integration industry roles including CEO of United Visual, a 60-plus-year-old commercial integrator. Part-time MBA instructor, he’s also a contributing writer for Huffington Post, SAP and IBM.