PR is a great tool for calling attention to your trade show presence—as well as your products and services. Here are a few tips from our guest blogger, PR professional Lisa Goell Sinicki, on how to maximize your pre-show publicity.
1. Send your press releases to the right list. There are lots of services that you can use to generate huge lists of potentially interested journalists. However, everyone else is using those same lists too. As a result, journalists are over-run by news, most of which doesn’t really even fall within their specialty. Because of this, it's impossible for them to read most of the pitches they receive.
The solution is to vet your press list in advance. Research each reporter to learn what she really writes about. Then send each release individually to just those journalists who are a good fit.
2. Get personal. Send every journalist on your A-list a copy of the release personalized just for them. Start out by telling them exactly why you feel their readers will be interested in your story.
3. Schedule meetings. If you have something to show and tell in your exhibit, email reporters (and follow-up with phone calls) inviting them to schedule a time to meet in your booth. Arrange to have the appropriate company officer there to give them a demo or share a sound-byte.
4. Think about holding a press conference. If you have an announcement that many publications will be interested in, a press conference is a good way to reach everyone at once. If you represent a smaller niche covered by a handful of reporters, it will be more productive to meet with each reporter individually. This way, they are able to gather content tailored to their readers and feel like they are getting their own scoop rather than the exact same content as their competitors.
5. Leverage the web and social media. Post your press release to your own website. Make sure it is keyword rich and contains tags to make it more search-engine friendly. Then use your social media outlets to drive people to your news. Ask your employees to use their social media to drive other industry colleagues to your news as well.
For companies who don't have a way to optimize their press releases on their websites, www.PitchEngine.com can help. It enables you to post and easily optimize your press announcement, but it doesn't send the pitch out for you. You will still be able to use social media and email to drive the people you want to your story.
Lisa Goell Sinicki can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.