Just because you have a press release explaining how a customer is successfully using your technology, doesn’t mean you’ll always get media coverage. One journalist from an online IT publication told me recently “new implementations are installed every day, so we can’t cover every announcement.” And some tech news sites have told me they don’t cover customer stories at all anymore.
So here are some hints on ways in which I think you can maximise the chances of getting your customer success stories covered:
1.Offer a customer interview
If you can get a senior customer spokesperson to get on the phone and talk a journalist through the story in their own words, it’ll earn you some brownie points. Most Tier 1 tech publications prefer to write their own story in this way, using your press release as supporting material.
2. Make it timely
The more current the installation, the more attractive it is to the media. Some tech publications want to cover installations that are part way through – so they can write an as-it-happens story. I know this is often a tough call in the ‘real world’ – where customers seldom let you publicise an installation until it’s complete.
3. Say it with pictures
An interesting image that captures the eye (not the onbligatory shots of computer hardware that publications are already inundated with) can often mean the difference between getting covered and being consigned to the waste bin. And research shows that people are much more likely to read a story with an interesting image next to it!
4. Offer an exclusive
The UK B2B technology media sector is a crowded market. And journalists are often incentivised to get stories that aren’t being covered by the competition. If there’s a publication that you know is very highly read by your target audiences, consider giving them an exclusive.
5. Tailor it to different sectors
Some customer stories might be of interest to a number of different publication sectors. Take a story about a retail web site using new payment processing software. It could be relevant to horizontal IT titles such as Computing, retail (eg Retail Week) and banking (Banking Technology). You can increase your coverage chances by tailoring the story to suit the styles of the different publication streams.
6. Jump on the bandwagon
If the media’s all excited about a particlur technology – cloud computing or social media for example – then be explicit about how your customer story touches on these areas. Be careful though, if your link to these areas is more spin than substance, you’ll be ignored!