As some of you know, I am a big fan of the guitar. I just love a great guitar solo that is delivered with a lot of feeling and expression. What makes the great guitar players so special is their ability to use just a few well-timed notes to channel the emotions of a song directly into the hearts of the listeners through their instrument. In fact, a “simple” guitar solo, from BB King for example, which consists of just a couple of notes but is brought with great feeling and timing, has a lot more impact than a speedy “see how many notes I can squeeze into one measure” virtuoso solo from someone like Steve Vai.
As with many other things, when it comes to targeting your PR efforts, less is more.
Target your news
Targeting your news distribution is vitally important for success. Feedback from meetings industry media learns that when distributing your news to media, instead of sending out mass e-mailings, your PR efforts will be much more effective when you personally target a limited number of media titles. Sending out your news releases by mass emailings will only do harm in the long run as editors will no longer read your release if the majority you send them is not relevant to them, and your PR efforts will be less effective.
Select a Top 10
You should first realize what target group(s) you want to reach and select a small number of media titles which readership has the same target group. Even within this selection you should start with let’s say a top 10 of media titles with which you want to identify your brand with, read a large number of the articles in this magazine/online news portal/e-newsletter, so you get to know what type of stories they publish, and approach the editors of these media titles personally with your news or story ideas.
Selecting media titles in which you want to get coverage does take some time and effort, which is often not available to ICCA member organisations who do their PR in-house. ICCA has recently launched an upgrade of one of its media relations tools, which makes it much easier for its members to target their news.
The ICCA Press Database
The ICCA Press Database is an online searchable database of the leading media (magazines, websites, e-newsletters) and freelancers in the international meetings industry. It contains almost 400 profiles with full update, print and export (to MS Excel and PDF) functionality. The database is updated on a continuous basis by the media contacts themselves and by ICCA members who can report updates when they are browsing the profiles in the database. ICCA includes links to Press Database Update Forms in every press release that it sends out and is also sending out update request emails to all media every 6 months. The media profiles are updated in the live database after a confirmation check.
Here is what some ICCA members have to say about the ICCA Press Database:
Long-standing ICCA media member Martin Lewis of Conference and Travel (CAT) Publications says:
It is important that media buyers understand how to identify the publications searching the precise audience they wish to reach in their PR and advertising efforts. In the modern world it is imperative that budgets are used carefully to target specific market segments. The new ICCA Press Database allows ICCA members to target their news releases very specifically and it makes it able for them to make the right choice for their advertising. I am convinced ICCA members will be able to increase their PR profile using the ICCA Press Database and that it ensures maximum ROI of their ICCA membership.
Davide Odella, Event Manager International Markets of Grupa TRIP (Polish PCO and DMC):
With the new ICCA Press Database it is definitely easy to identify the top media contacts for the target groups we are interested in. With the ICCA PR Kit, companies without a dedicated PR department or outsourced PR Agency are able to maximize the power and profile of their news releases. You can easily do your PR yourself in-house, the media profiles are regularly updated by ICCA and I am making sure with ICCA’s help the world’s meetings industry media covers my latest developments and successes. Since we use the PR Kit provided by ICCA we definitely noticed a big increase in the number of articles published by the main magazines in our industry which cover our news! Thanks ICCA!
How are you distributing your news to media? Are you sending out mass emailings or are you personally targeting a small number of media titles with your news and story ideas? Are you sending out releases by email and/or are you using social media channels? Have you used the ICCA Press Database already? Has it helped you to raise your profile? Have you added the media profiles to your own (local) press list? Please leave a comment and share!