What does your audience look forward to?

Engineering PR and Buster the Dog. Sorry, Buster Keaton.
You have probably read a million blog posts about #BustertheBoxer already, so don’t worry - this isn’t another one on the same subject. In fact, the bouncing dog and his furry friends are nothing more than clickbait to attract you into an article about engineering PR and guide you smoothly into my real subject. A hook, if you will. 

by Richard Stone

What I really want to talk about is what your audience looks forward to at the end of the year. For consumers and lovers of foxes, hedgehogs and badgers, it’s the John Lewis Christmas advert. For the audiences of industrial and engineering companies, it’s probably something else entirely.

The audience I want to address today is a very specific one – journalists, editors and advertising people in the trade media.

I recently spent a very pleasant afternoon in the beer garden of a trade show, chatting to the editor of a well respected engineering magazine. He made a valid point about journalists, by highlighting the value of a pint.

His argument? A good story worth printing, along with a pint or a coffee, is worth its weight in gold. This is nothing to do with bribery or a shortage of alcohol and caffeine in the trade media. It’s about demonstrating that you care enough to meet someone and spend some time with them. They aren’t just a source of free media coverage or a good person to buy discounted ads from – they are individuals that you value.

What’s this got to do with Christmas though? Well, once upon a time, in Christmases gone by, every man and his dog threw a Christmas party for the media. You couldn’t move around Covent Garden for revelling widget salesmen and the editorial team of Blue Widget Monthly.

As budgets have been cut over the years, these parties have fallen by the wayside. However, there are still a few, and journalists tell me that they are very much looked forward to by the media. So, if you are considering cutting your ‘old fashioned’ Christmas catch up with the press, think about this – if everybody in the room suddenly stops shouting, it’s very easy to hear the few remaining voices.

Maybe you don’t need to hire London Zoo for your press bash in 2016, but doing something, even on a small scale, would help to show the media they are valued. Just spending some time together with a good story and pint or a coffee might be a better plan than producing a viral version of #BustertheBoxer.

Richard Stone

Stone Junction is a cool technical PR agency based in Stafford. We work for all sorts of businesses, with a particular focus on technology, technical and engineering companies. We like being sent cake and biscuits by clients, journalists and prospects.

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