The summer has arrived, and that means many in the B2B world have the out-of-office on, and are enjoying soaking up the sun on their annual holidays.
However, there’s something PRs and marketing managers crave even more than sweltering summer temperatures – industry ‘hot topics’. The key to a successful thought-leadership campaign is being able to balance your key business messages with what’s trending in your target industry, then merge them seamlessly together.
Those closely involved in a press relations campaign should always have eyes and ears on the press and are well placed to monitor what’s ‘hot’.
We all hear the cross-industry B2B buzzwords cropping up time and again in the press – the Internet of Things, big data, mobility and moving out into more consumer-driven trending topics such as drones, robotics, augmented reality. Diving further down into industry-specific trends, a good PR pro will know exactly what’s on the minds of journalists in particular markets by monitoring social media, press, industry events, webinars, influencers – each providing a wealth of indicators as to what’s hot right now.
Then the ‘hijacking’ begins
So once a marketing professional has unearthed topics that are really resonating within a particular industry, then they’re well placed to start to think about the thought-leadership they can provide. By the way, in the PR world, ‘hijacking’ is a hot topic in itself!
There are three things that need to be combined to pull off the perfect hot topic heist:
The issue – Identify what’s being talked about in publications within a certain industry, what is being said on social channels and what are industry experts, often competitors, saying? Remember – you’re looking for positive running stories – they usually stay positive. Negative ones always stay negative and there’s no way you will be able to change the direction.
The company position – Think about the sales messages you want to convey in response to a particular topic. How does your company solve a particular challenge or meet the opportunity provided by this issue? Remember – don’t crowbar your messages in – it will be painfully obvious!
Choose your ‘hijacker’ – Make it a person, not your company doing the hijacking. Sometimes it can be an afterthought as to which subject matter expert (SME) a company wants to position around a certain topic. But choosing the right SME and then following up with other content from them begins to establish him or her as a thought-leader in a particular area. But remember, although it’s personal, you‘re always speaking for the company.
Don’t put a hot topic on ice
If you’re drafting a thought-leadership article, balance the issue with the company position and even chose your thought leader’s title with care. Solution-heavy pieces will be seen as more advertorial than editorial, an author with a sales-heavy title can often make journalists wary that this is a sales document, whereas industry directors or consultants make for well-received byliners. Of course delving too deeply into a particular topic ends up falling into the ‘too much information’ category.
So, as H2 begins in earnest, now is the chance to grab some hot coverage alongside those summer rays – no sunblock required!
Jamie Kightley, Head of iBAenagage