Gaining Media Attention and Coverage

It’s one thing to say your company has a life-changing solution that helps cure a pernicious health problem. It’s another thing to show with data how the use of your technology or solution results in the remediation of the problem.

Do you believe in what you’re doing? Do you have dramatic stories of customer success when using your products?

If you do, then turn these anecdotes into powerful data using research methods. Data illustrative of the results experienced by your clients and patients will increase the credibility of your claims to have a life-altering solution or a cure for the common cold. 

Why is data helpful?

Journalists cannot simply take your word for something. If you’re wrong, the outlet’s credibility is called into question.

If you called the New York Times health reporter with a claim of having the cure for the common cold, and all you have are your own words, would they believe you? Not likely. However, if you have well-researched, credible findings from a documented process that quantifies results, then you might be interesting. Of course in the case of medical miracles, you will need third party review to improve credibility and confirm sound research methods.

We were recently invited to assist a potential new client with media relations to gain earned media placement for their firm. We recommended an in-depth study and analysis of the statistical results to document positive outcomes from using the client’s services. Gaining this data would allow for the development of a factually based story focused on how the client’s services led to a cessation of symptoms, curing a specific, long-term health problem. This story would have been compelling and distinctive and of help to millions.

Show, don’t tell. Use facts. Use data, graphs, charts

Journalists need charts, graphs, and data. You must go further – giving journalists a full array of materials to complete their story. You can provide snippets of interviews in video format as well as an executive summary and detailed report of the methodology of the study and the analysis of the findings. 

Over the last years, media outlets have fractured and morphed. New channels and leaders have emerged. Consumers have found new places to turn their attention to journalists who are now going direct to audiences through outlets such as Substack newsletters. 

We have written in the past of how you can develop a fully fleshed out story that gives journalists all the materials necessary to write a complete story. These maxims still apply today more than ever.

CEOs are not always aware of the amount of work which leads to a successful media placement. It is not uncommon for us to hear from a potential client about unsupported claims of being “the best”. Anyone can say they are the best. But can they prove it? That’s the key to creating news. To making news. Or as your grandmother may have said, the proof is in the pudding.

Findings must be so irrefutable

Getting the data

Ask your clients to take a survey to gain insights that can be analyzed and presented in a manner to quantify the results they have had from your products. Create the survey in conjunction with someone experienced in marketing research and use valid statistical methods to compose and then analyze the survey items.

You can also use focus groups, many of which are conducted online. Again, use valid research and interview techniques to elicit findings which will be credible.

And finally, call on professionals like the team at Charleston PR & Design to help you gather the insights and present them with supportive materials. 

Gaining New Information from Old Ground

Dig in for fresh marketing insights

As a child, I envisioned myself an archeologist. Digging in pits, dusting off ancient bones, pottery or dinosaur bones. What compelled me was the expectation that I could make surprising discoveries.

Recently, scientists announced new discoveries at Stonehenge, that ancient site which is a profound mystery. Over the course of several years they used non-invasive technologies including motorized magnometers, ground-penetrating radar arrays, electromagnetic induction sensors, earth resistance surveys, and 3-D laser scanners to help them see below the surface. Analysis of their mapping proved startling.

Their fresh way of seeing has uncovered (virtually, as no actual digging was done) information as well as previously undetected structures in the area surrounding Stonehenge. Read articles from National Geographic and Fast Company.

What new discoveries can you make?

Science is replete with stories of ground-breaking discoveries made by reviewing familiar territory. Yet, I see few small businesses using similar scientific diligence or even gaining new observations.

Taking a new perspective, using novel methods of analysis or just sitting down with your customers can lead to astounding insights which lead you to innovation. Whether from fear of the new or from paralysis, many plod the known path, and never diverge to the uncut field, breaking new ground.

Most critical to any new insight is data. Research. Comprehension. How often do you consider what your customers need, not what you have to sell. Or how easy it is for you to sell it. Going over the old ground of why and how you established your business can yield insights. So can interviewing customers.

Recently a client asked me what should she do to help her gain more business. But she had no marketing research or observations from which to form conclusions. Or to gain clues to things buried in the landscape, just awaiting the archaeologist’s trowel.

Observe, ask, seek to get marketing research

Research is an often feared tactic. Many business owners think it expensive and a waste of time. And undertaken with that point of view, is probably true. Many avoid customer service surveys and even the simple Net Promoter Score which is based on a single question: “Would you recommend this to a friend?” Just a simple question with highly complex ramifications. If seven out of ten say, “no,” then your business is failing to meet customer expectations. Meaning your business is vulnerable. You are just a hair away from failing.

Small enterprise’s new products and services are often built on “me too” knee-jerk response to societal or commercial trends, but not as often tested to validate a particular firm’s customers need the service.

With the tools of the Internet, it’s not hard to format a straight forward customer survey. Or find existing research.

So, if you want to gather a bit of insight, start with frank conversation with a few of your most longstanding customers. The ones who know you well. Ask them the big question: “What do you wish we would do better?” Don’t flinch or equivocate, listen. Record their answers. Either audio or by taking notes. Follow that question up with “What do you wish we could do to help your business grow?” OR “What do you wish we did that we don’t do now?” Then finally, “When have we served you best?”

In the last half-decade anthropologists have become essential partners to big business; observing everything from how customers interact with products to how they peruse shopping aisles. These observations provide fresh insights which lead to product innovation.

You can do the same thing if you have a retail store. (Note, if you’re doing this, be sure to have customer service people in the store so you don’t have to worry about customers being helped.) Practice observation. Really seeing without trying to figure out what you can do to make a sale. You may find that the display you most wanted your shoppers to see is never approached. Or that your too precise array of merchandise doesn’t invite handling.

Getting help

Life has a way of detouring from childhood dreams. In my case, I’m not an archeologist, but a marketing consultant. And that’s great. I get to help talented business people make new discoveries every day.

If you don’t feel you have the neutrality, time or ability to observe or question your customers, we do. We can arrange customer interviews, observe customers on location or conduct in-depth surveys.

Now exactly how did they get those stones to Stonehenge?

Photo credit: Flickr user Bala Sivakumar, Smoking Stonehenge

Video Tutorial: Using Google Trends for Marketing Research

How can Google Trends help me determine what to post or share?

In previous blog posts we have discussed techniques and sites to use for research when planning blog topics and or planning a social media calendar. In this post we offer our video overview of how to use Google Trends as a research tool.

Google Trends is one of the sources we use when we want to gain insight. This powerful research tool provides local, targeted and specific information which you may find helpful if you are researching consumer insights or needs. Google also suggests related search phrases and provides indexing regarding that query’s dominance.

In this comparison search on Google Trends, we input social media marketing and Facebook marketing as search queries to gain insight about. One observes that the volume of information about Facebook marketing exceeds social media marketing over time.

Google Trends comparison

Not only can you view trends over time, you can view the volume of interest in your own geographic area.

explore regional interest in a topic using google trends

Using Google Trends will help you determine interest in potential new products, help define topics for blog posts, help define subject interest to drive social media marketing and give you insights when planning digital marketing campaigns.