One of the main things that we have learned from working as a science PR agency is that different media have different expectations. Trade, technical and professional media have different expectations from general and consumer outlets, so the way that you present your client’s stories must fit in with their criteria.
What Journalists are looking for
Journalists are trained to think about how a story will impact their readers, viewers and leaders. Therefore, they are looking for stories that are interesting, relevant and meaningful.
It’s important to keep these points in mind when approaching and writing for the trade and technical press. From our experience in science and engineering PR, the trade and technical press are most likely to be interested in the following types of stories:
Industry news– by this we mean some sort of change – for example, a new technology revolutionising a current process or industry, a new C-level executive being appointed, or an important milestone being reached during a project.
Facts and figures– New research launched by a client that has generated interesting results, a new product or technology that saves other companies money or emissions by X percent, or impressive figures that show how your client is helping to solve a problem.
Expert opinion– trade and technical press are always interested in hearing the opinions of technical experts (whether this in the form of an article or interview) – from what they think the industry will look like in ten years to commenting on current trends. These types of stories are a great opportunity to push figureheads as thought leaders.
Truth– ‘myth busters’ are a great way to show off your client’s expertise and help to educate those within their industry.
Exclusive– this one is pretty obvious – most journalists love an exclusive so that they can write a story first.
Whichever angle you choose to go for, a top tip is to always ensure there is a human-interest aspect. This can really help a B2B story stand out and show high-level thinking, as well as making the story more relatable and hard hitting. Human interest angles can be addressed in several ways, like focusing on the real-life benefits of a new product/technology, putting a spokesperson forward to champion something like ‘Women in Engineering’, warning or predicting future trends that will affect our everyday lives or highlighting issues where there are debate and disagreement.
A great example of this is the Wired interview with James Dyson on batteries, electric cars and the future of design. Dyson manages to get all of the technical information across about the company’s developments and solid-state batteries (industry news), addresses that there is a lack of engineering interest in the nation (a good human-interest angle) and gives his expert opinion on how he thinks the demand for electric cars will increase. Not only does this make for an interesting read, but also boosts Dyson’s corporate reputation, positioning him as a true thought leader.