A former newspaper editor of mine once said a story was fit to print if I told it to my Mom and she understood it, and more importantly, found it interesting. Supplement ingredient or product companies should take that advice to heart when pitching ideas to the consumer press.
Companies make the mistake of thinking mainstream media will absorb and write on the same topics as the industry and trade press. Too often, companies put CEOs and scientists in front of consumer reporters and ask them to explain why the average person should care about a complex mixture of natural ingredients in their supplements. The interview devolves into a morass of scientific mumbo jumbo, with the reporter disengaged from the start. Then those same executives fail to understand why nothing was written.
This is where an expert public relations team is invaluable in securing consumer media coverage. PR pros know how to approach, pitch, and maintain relationships that drive interest and position key spokespeople as go-to sources for consumer-oriented articles.
Any PR expert will tell you educating media contacts is the No. 1 challenge when pitching consumer stories. It’s likely mainstream reporters are already reluctant to write about supplements, let alone specialty natural ingredients. They don’t understand them. It’s the PR representative’s job to “consumerize” the messages in a way the media can understand and then relate to the average reader.
That CEO or scientist your company positions as its spokesperson? They’re fine for industry interviews, but consumer media want to speak with credible, third party experts who can articulate the main points of the pitch in a few simple statements. Your PR team shepherds message development with these experts and coaches them on how to speak in consumer-friendly ways.
The PR team’s work doesn’t end with the interview and a published article. It continually monitors consumer outlets for issues and trends related to your products and services, and quickly crafts pitches to garner coverage. Team members constantly cultivate relationships with reporters and editors to maintain mindshare and position your experts as available sources. This takes time, patience, and a firm understanding of how each media contact wants information.
Whether done by an internal staff or through an external agency, an expert public relations team will ensure information about your products and services pass the “Mom Test” demanded by the consumer press. It’s an investment well worth the cost.