Most executives, including aerospace business leaders, love positive press — and with good reason. Media coverage can be a powerful force multiplier for companies seeking to bring third-party credibility to their overall marketing strategies.
It’s not surprising then that internal media or public relations teams are pressured by the C-suite and sales to “get us in the news,” and then criticized (or sometimes fired) when the coverage fails to materialize. A Holmes Report B2B technology study found that 89 percent of PR managers and directors say “volume of press coverage” is the top criteria for success, and 83 percent feel under more pressure to deliver than in the past.
The problem is that too many industry leaders and practitioners don’t know how to work effectively with the news media — or have cultures that create roadblocks to success.
In today’s blog we highlight 5 things that are keeping your company out of the news — and 5 things you can change to achieve the coverage you want. But we also introduce an exciting new addition to our resource library.
Today marks the debut of our first e-book called “The Power of PR: The Ultimate Guide to Professional Aerospace & Defense Public Relations.” It’s the most in-depth content of its kind ever created. We encourage you to download and use it — along with the tips that follow — to improve the quality and effectiveness of your PR efforts.
5 Reasons Your Aerospace Business is Not in the News More
1) Your company is not helpful. Marketing guru Jay Baer wrote a New York Times bestseller called “Youtility: Why Smart Marketing is About Help not Hype” that cuts to the heart of what most defense industry media relations pros are doing wrong. Nearly every item on this list comes back to being selfish and internally focused. Companies that approach the media with a “me, me, me” mindset are doomed to fail. Ironically, if you always make it about you, it will never be about you.
2) You don’t give journalists what they need. Great PR people work to find out what defense industry journalists want and then give it to them. The Holmes Report study found that 83 percent of respondents say the role of PR is to churn out news releases. But great PR people don’t blanket credible publications (the ones that aerospace industry influencers read) with junk news releases or embarrass themselves with phony press conferences designed to make management feel good. They won’t pitch stories that don’t fit the editorial focus or that lack a connection to trends and events. Great PR people build relationships over time that are focused more on what the journalist wants and needs, and less on what the company wants and needs. Please don’t ask them to do otherwise.
3) You are too slow to respond. Or don’t respond at all. Just as with lead conversion, when it comes to working with the news media, response time is of the essence. When someone in the news media wants to talk they want to talk right now. Media pros that respond quickly will get the coverage they want today and the appreciation of a journalist who will call them again in the future. It’s hard to believe, but journalists have independently told us about a helicopter OEM with a media relations department that just never returns calls. Don’t be that company! The news media is not your enemy. Empower your people to do whatever it takes to develop a process that allows for expediting media responses.
4) You expect control. In some companies, senior executives who are accustomed to giving orders and being in charge can be out of their comfort zones when working with journalists. Remember, once you start working with the media the story is in their hands and out of your control. You don’t get to read it in advance or dictate content. But if you can adapt and manage expectations, you can still be successful.
5) Your PR people are disconnected. The most successful aerospace company PR pros constantly mine their organizations for data, trends and visuals they can use to tell the company’s story. They don’t wait for someone to come to them with an idea for a news release. Encourage your PR people to be closely plugged in to the business at the highest levels, so they understand organizational goals and strategies, and recognize PR opportunities when they occur. And be sure to embrace new and non-traditional media, too, utilizing social monitoring to identify and understand relevant trends, and use social media to connect with the news media, bloggers and other key influencers.
If you think your PR could be more effective, tap into our exclusive library of free resources for aerospace marketers:
1. NEW! “The Power of PR: The Ultimate Guide to Professional Aerospace & Defense Public Relations.” It's our first e-book and is not to be missed.
2. NEW! A "who's who" list of influencers and journalists (complete with contact information) to jump-start development of your own database.
3. If you don't already have it, get this comprehensive PR Toolkit full of actionable ideas and tools you can start using today.