Marketing 101: Companies In This Space Need To Do A Better Job
I find it very hard to fathom but I still run into a lot of marketing folks in person at events who say something like "I’d love for you to write about our company and to look at what we’re doing but didn’t know how to contact you." Or it’s the line of "I saw this month’s copy of Streaming Media magazine and noticed that you wrote about our competitor but not about us, why?"
Come on now, those are bad excuses. Where are your marketing skills? Marketing 101 says you always know how to contact someone in the media who may be covering the industry you are in. And if you can’t find my e-mail and phone number on this blog, on the home page of StreamingMedia.com, on DanRayburn.com or all the other sites out there that list it, then you should not be in the marketing profession.
As for the idea that any member of the media can and should cover every vendor, product or service in any industry – that’s just not possible. There are only so many hours in the day and vendors should make it easier for the media to know what they are doing. Especially since unlike a lot of the other blogs out there where the blog is their only job, this blog is just one of the many, many things that consumes my time. Why is it that so many vendors as me why I don’t call them?!? How about being proactive and calling me? Or how about looking at our editorial calendar on StreamingMedia.com and calling the Editor of the magazine, Eric, before we write a story and it goes to print instead of asking us when the story comes out why we didn’t feature you. This happens way too often.
Now some companies do a great job. No question, there are those out there who have marketing folks and teams who help to keep us in the loop and do a really good job. And I know that not all companies have the resources of entire teams at their disposal. But there is one thing that many, many companies do that really irks me and is just dumb for your business.
Many times, I will e-mail a PR or marketing person at a company that I have dealt with before only to have two things happen. One, the e-mail bounces back to me saying no person with that name exists. Ok, so if the person has moved on, why the hell doesn’t the company have that address setup to forward to another PR or marketing person!!! Now I am stuck with no PR contact and not even an automated message in the e-mail telling me who the new person is to contact. How is that good for your business? Many of you may be surprised but this happens all the time.
Second, the e-mail won’t bounce back but I will never hear from the person. After having to call around in the company, I’ll find out that the person is no longer there and there is either a new person to contact or no one knows who you should contact. How can this be? If the person has left the company, have an automated reply come back when I send the e-mail letting me know that. Bouncing the e-mail is bad, but accepting it and then not following up on it is even worse as I have no way of knowing the person is now gone. This is why many times, someone from your company gets invited to speak at a show one year and not the next. Your speakers placement person has left the company and I am e-mailing someone who is not there.
Also, why I am ranting about marketing issues, why do companies post press releases on their websites as PDF documents? It makes it a lot harder to search the release for specific words, it’s harder to share a link to a PDF with someone in an e-mail and Google and others don’t index the contents of PDFs so you lose out on potential traffic. The whole reason to put out a press release is to get it in front of as many "qualified" media people as possible, but you put it in a format that is then hard for us to work with.
Also, many times we are on deadline, which you should understand but many companies don’t. If any member of the media e-mails you with a question, speaking invite, quote request etc… and says they need to hear back within a certain period of time, why do you respond literally a week after the deadline? Now if you don’t want the press or don’t care about the coverage, ok, that’s fair. But when you call back a week later and act all surprised that the opportunity is no longer available, why do you seem so surprised? This happens quite often as well.
Again, not all companies are like this. Many are very good. But way too many aren’t. The bottom line is that many companies need to be more proactive and follow basic marketing rules that all companies should be applying to maximize their exposure in the industry.
Note: The editorial calendar is not currently on the Streaming Media magazine page as we just took it down and are creating a new one for the second half of the year. It will be up shortly.