Tuesday, May 31, 2005

You gotta love the niche you're in

One of the more frequent questions I get when I'm talking to a client who is considering media relations as part of their marketing mix is something like: "My target is so narrow, is there any way that public relations can help me?" Many of them are not selling directly to consumers and wonder if there are opportunities in public relations.

I was reading the latest edition of The Publicity Handbook this weekend and came across an answer to that question: "…media outlets with large and broad audiences are the most difficult publicity targets. Specialized media, on the other hand, often don't get enough material that fits their narrow focuses, so they may be eager to use yours."

From my own personal experience, that couldn't be truer. One of the companies I work with is Jerry’s Electric, a small company that remanufactures transformers, which is not likely to land them an interview on Good Morning America. In fact, my RSS feed on transformers is dominated by transformer fires. In other words, the major media generally cover them only when something goes wrong.

But, like all industries, they have a thriving specialty media that covers transformers and electric utilities. After a little research and a pitch, one of those publications sent a writer from Chicago for a full-day interview and photo shoot. The result was a front-page article in the May issue of Electrical Apparatus Magazine with a six-page spread and nine photos. Jerry’s Electric is a thriving company with a great story to tell and there was a publication in their industry waiting to tell it.

This is just one of many examples I could give, but the point of the story is that there are media opportunities for everyone. The important thing is to embrace and target the niche market you’re in. The Wall Street Journal profile might be out of reach, but Electrical Apparatus is waiting for your call.

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