Dear sir, why don't you try writing a letter?

They say variety is the spice of life, but what they probably didn't tell you is that it will also improve your technology PR and media relations success if you stop using the same type of content as your competitors and mix it up with age-old classics like the letter to the editor.

By Zafar Jamati, senior content executive

For years now, we've been told by marketing gurus that print media is dead and that we should ditch the old ways of marketing our content and adopt digital tactics like LinkedIn automation, video, owned-media magazines, webinars and even the medium of virtual reality.

Although all these tactics are really important — after all, reaching audiences through digital means will continue to build engagement — many marketers have forgotten the benefits to be gained from traditional print media-relations tactics such as the humble letter.

While contributed content is an essential part of trade media, brands looking for higher profile coverage can use letters to position themselves as thought leaders in regional and national media publications where they would otherwise struggle to compete with more obviously high-profile stories.

The key to getting coverage is to respond rapidly. Once you've identified the response mechanism — whether that's a letters page or a comments section on a website — work quickly to develop a concise response, usually less than 200 words.

Make sure that the issue you are responding to is either a big one that has the most mass appeal, or one that is very specific, don't ramble and always remember take the argument forward, never just say "me too".

All that said and done, sometimes the best letters are ones with the most human appeal. Here's one that was published on the Guardian's online letters page on Friday January 4, 2013:

"There's nothing like teenage diaries for putting momentous historical events in perspective (Banalities and bathos, 31 December). This is my entry for 20 July 1969. 'I went to arts centre (by myself!) in yellow cords and blouse. Ian was there but he didn't speak to me. Got rhyme put in my handbag from someone who's apparently got a crush on me. It's Nicholas I think. UGH. Man landed on moon.'" Dinah Hall - Lustleigh, Devon

For more information on the variety of content PR tactics you can use to generate press coverage, contact me on +44 (0)1785 225416 or e-mail zafar@stonejunction.co.uk

Zafar Jamati

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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