Provide Reporters with the Information They Will Need
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After you’ve convinced reporters to write articles, be sure you supply them with enough background information material. The more information you provide, the more likely they will write the kind of story you want. For example, when you supply the sources, the reporter is bound to hear positive testimonials from users; when reporters have to find users, they may find people who are not 100% pleased. By controlling the flow of information, you will help create a positive, upbeat story that will help sales.
• Technical facts and specifications
• Testimonials from customers
• Marketing details
Some reporters need more information because they write for highly technical magazines, or because they want to gather fresh quotes and new material so their story is unique – they don’t want their story to look like one published in another publication where you pitched the article. For instance, PC Week routinely asks for the names and phone numbers of three users whenever they write a product focus.
Be prepared by knowing all you can about the technical aspects of your product and its various applications, the ways the product is marketed, and about the customers who benefit from using it. Consider creating a list (including phone numbers) of resources who can answer difficult technical questions, customers who can provide testimonials, and executives who can explain your various marketing strategies. If you have this information handy, you’ll be able to help reporters immediately. This is important because reporters work on deadlines and need to get answers quickly to write their stories.