Pitch perfect... or tone deaf?

Aug 27, 2020 4:17 pm

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Hello Content Creators!


I've been thinking a lot about something several PR firms have told me recently: If you're going to hire a content creator, find one that focuses on your industry, category, or niche. There are two main reasons for that.


But first, I'll be totally honest. Hiring a PR firm isn't necessary, just worth considering. You can also choose to do all of this in house (keep reading for a few tips on how). So, just think Big Picture here, as this is every bit as relevant regardless of who's getting your message out and how they're doing it.


Reason #1: They'll speak your language

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A PR firm that focuses on your industry will know how to talk about your products in a way that resonates with your customer base. And that's the key, being able to communicate with your customers in ways they like, with information they want. They have the added benefit of also (usually, hopefully) knowing how to give the media the information they want.


If you're not sure which firms those are, just ask your industry's media which PR firms they like. You'll probably find that most endemic media have a few favorites that they like working with. And that's important, because...


Reason #2: They won't piss off the media

An industry-specific PR firm will already know your target media, have relationships with them, and can get the word out quickly. But you could also cultivate your own list of relevant media and influencers.


I write about bicycles. Do you know how many emails I get for cat toys, diamond jewelry, and other crap I don't care about? Thousands. Do you know what happens to them? Their sender gets blocked. Which means if that person ever actually represented a brand that was relevant to me, I wouldn't see it.


Do you know why this happens? Because bad PR people buy generic lists of media so they can tell you they'll get your message in front of thousands of editors. Good PR people may only get your message in front of 20, but they're 1,000x more likely to get results.


The takeaway: Focus on relevant media, and only send them relevant messages.


I like that tune, how do we DIY this?

First, you need to find someone that focuses on your niche and knows how to create good marketing content.


You probably already know plenty. Media outlets, bloggers, and content creators that are popular with your customers are a good start. The point is to hire someone that can:


  1. Create the right content for the right audience
  2. Reach the right media (bonus points if they already have a relationship there)


You also want someone that understands your brand's business objectives and is able to incorporate those into the content campaign. See below for a good example of this.


Remember, don't make content just for the sake of making content. And you don't always have to create your own content, consider letting the media do it for you.


A recent content project

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I just helped BULLS Bikes create their 2021 Media Kit.


They had plenty of good action, lifestyle and product photos, but few words. So I had to write it, basically from scratch.


I've been a cyclist for 20+ years. I ride road, gravel, cyclocross, cross country, trail, enduro, and commuter bikes. And I cover them daily for Bikerumor. So, I can look at a bike and tell you what it's meant to do, and I know what features and details are going to be important to the end consumer. As an entrepreneur, I get the business side of it, too.


Most important, I know what info I'm looking for as a journalist, so I made sure that info is included.


Which illustrates the opening portion of this newsletter. And I'll be delegating any news stories about BULLS to another editor at Bikerumor for a while to avoid potential for bias in our coverage.*


* There's a potential conflict of interest if you're paying someone to create commercial content for you if that person also posts content to a media outlet. They may need to disclose that relationship, or they may need to choose between writing for you or about you. That's up to them to figure out, but as a brand, you should at least ask them about this.


(PS- I intentionally blurred those images since their bikes aren't launched yet!)


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Cool Stuff I've Found

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This week, it's all about survival of the fittest...equipment. Because seriously, who doesn't love good gear?


Silky Saw Gomboy - If you ever (and I mean ever) have to saw a tree branch or root, I promise, nothing will do it as satisfyingly as a Silky Saw. Their Japanese steel blades are second to none, turning trees into soft, room temperature butter. I look for things to cut just so I can use it. And if you're a mountain biker or hiker, the Silky Gomboy is small and light enough to keep in your pack to quickly clear fallen trees.


Fenix PD35 Tactical Flashlight- Forget the cheap "tactical-with-a-lowercase-t" flashlights you'll find littering Amazon. Get a good one and, um, see the light. The Fenix PD35 is small (about 5") but really bright. One the best features is an independent mode button, letting you cycle through five brightness levels. The separate on/off button remembers what mode you left it in, and separating the two buttons is a standout feature that's hard to appreciate...until you use it.


SOG Kiku XR Blackout - It's funny how often bike brands use really, really nice folding knives as media gifts. I have a few, and they're all nice. But the best ones have been SOG, and the latest is the Kiku XR Blackout, which is just sick. Even my wife, who couldn't care less about blades, said it looked bad ass. It's stupid sharp, locks tightly into position, is all black, and small enough to pack anywhere.


Make it interesting,


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Tyler Benedict


Whoa! Before you hit delete, can you forward this to a couple friends that might like it? Thanks!


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*Any items, services, or products mentioned in these emails are provided solely because I think you'll like them. I don't sell this space, but some of links might be affiliate links, which earns me a small commission (beer money, really) if you buy something. This helps support all the free content. Thanks!

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