One of the things I love most about working at a public relations agency is that I am able to work with a variety of clients across our various divisions of food and beverage PR, franchise PR, and lifestyle PR at Konnect. In working across these various industries, I have learned more than I ever thought I would about topics ranging from pest control to venture capital to oral care to healthy snacking and beyond.
No one is expected to be an expert on everything. However, when you are conducting outreach within each industry, you must be educated and be able to speak eloquently on the topics, trends, and insights of that business. While this may sound overwhelming, there are some easy tips for you to become a chameleon for any industry that you are conducting media outreach.
- Read the trades: Whenever I start working on a new account, I make a point to familiarize myself with the key trade media outlets. These are the outlets your clients, their business partners, buyers, etc. are reading and it is of utmost importance that you are well-versed in the language that is being used and how people are discussing trends within the industry. I find is especially helpful to subscribe to trade media newsletters via email. That way, even when my schedule may be hectic, I am able to see key headlines that may spark ideas for my own clients.
- Strike that, read everything: Beyond trade media, I find it helpful to set-up alerts for topics and buzz-words that are most prevalent in these various industries. For example, I receive alerts for my food clients on phrases including “Non-GMO,” “Plant-Based,” “Gluten Free,” etc. to see how these trends are being discussed across a variety of media outlets. Additionally, set-up alerts for your clients competitors to understand if/how they are being discussed in the media and use this intel as added ammunition for your own outreach. This has been especially helpful in discovering new and niche media outlets that would be a perfect fit for our clients.
- Listen to your client, and ask questions: While as a public relations firm, Konnect does have our collective finger on the pulse for the industries in which we specialize from a media perspective, it is beyond helpful to pay close attention to how your client is talking about their product, services, industry, etc. By paying close attention to this messaging, your pitches and communication on behalf of your client will become even more fine-tuned and targeted. With many of our clients, they work with teams of experts, ranging from doctors to dentists to nutritionists to other specialists in different industries. When you spot a topic in the news cycle, it never hurts to ask what your expert/ client’s point of view on the subject matter is. By listening and asking questions you demonstrate how interested and invested you are in your client and more often than not, you are able to gather additional details and insights that further strengthen your pitches.
Remember, you are the expert! Happy researching!