8 Dos and Don’ts for Pitching Building Trade Publications

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As an agency exclusively serving clients in the building industry, we’re experts on the building trade media landscape. And, boy, is it a jam-packed media market with hundreds of print, online and broadcast outlets. Successful PR practitioners understand the nuances of each vertical market they target. For pros not as familiar with the unique and crowded trade media, we offer some simple dos and don’ts, using PR Daily’s recently posted “Media Dos and Don’ts” as a launch pad.

Blog Graphic- 6.51) DO provide valuable content
The building trades are largely technical, especially publications that serve architects, engineers, subcontractors (like HVAC) and other highly skilled professionals. Content should be data-driven and claims should be supported by hard facts. Numbers work best. Also try to use third-party resources (someone other than your client) to support your pitching angle.

2) DON’T forget to respond promptly when a deadline is involved
We all know that today’s media landscape is fast-paced. Juggling media opportunities can be tricky. Devise a timely organizational system that works for you. Outlook reminders are a great way to stay on top of things.
If an editor or reporter doesn’t immediately present a deadline, then it should be the first question you ask. Some building/construction media outlets are weekly; know which publications typically run on tighter timelines and paccordingly.

3) DO follow up
Press releases typically aren’t the means to an end. Follow up after every press release with a pitch and again with a phone call. Reporters receive hundreds of email pitches each week. Don’t be afraid to pick up the phone to follow up; many influential editors of building trades still prefer the old fashioned approach. For younger journalists, try reaching out via Twitter.

4) DON’T be a pest
Keep in mind that while many reporters and editors still prefer phone calls, some don’t like to be bothered by them. Create a quick spreadsheet to help you keep track of communication preferences.

5) DO proofread your pitch before sending
This tip is a no-brainer, but it can’t be overstated. Reporters and editors are passionate and devoted to their craft, particularly in this vertical market. Misspellings and grammatical errors indicate that you don’t care enough to proofread and you won’t be taken seriously.

6) DON’T forget that the media will want to know who your client’s competition is
No matter how innovative your client’s building product is, there will always be competitors in the market. While your product or service may offer something different, it doesn’t occupy a completely unique space. Be honest with the media – use competitors to emphasize your product’s differentiators. The editor will respect you for admitting that your competition exists.

7) DO be service-oriented
Treat the media the same way that you would treat a client: be accommodating, grateful and prompt. Make sure you understand the publication’s audience before pitching. It’s perhaps the most important part of doing your due diligence.

8) DON’T forget that this is about relationship-building
Media relations is all about building relationships and becoming a “go-to” source for reporters and editors. The building trades are a tight-knit group with a large amount of editor turnover. Gaining editor trust will prove useful as editors inevitably switch publications and cover new beats.

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