pitching industry trend stories

The trend here is that I’m not listening.

If you’re like most PR reps, you struggle with getting trade pubs to understand what’s so intriguing about your clients and give them the proper coverage.

Many of you try to sell client’s success as an “industry trend” story. But how’s that working for ya? My guess: Not very well. Here’s why, from an editor’s perspective, and what you can do about it.

Take This Pitch. Please.

At least once a week, I get an email like this:

I’m reaching out because I thought you would be interested in a piece exploring the evolution of the cloud industry and how ACME CLOUD has become a major player in the space. The company already has over 350,000 customers and offers an industry-leading low-cost monthly price.

Their competitor, Big Cloud Juggernaut, has become known for its terrible customer service and this is where ACME SOLUTIONS has carved out a competitive niche. In addition, ACME SOLUTIONS serves all size customers, while Big Cloud Juggernaut and Universal Solutions focus on larger, enterprise-level companies. This has left hundreds of thousands of small and medium size customers for ACME CLOUD to serve.

Customer service isn’t the only differentiator for ACME SOLUTIONS. Check out this price comparison for ACME SOLUTIONS vs. the major players in the industry. It shows ACME SOLUTIONS can provide the same computing capabilities for as little as one-tenth the cost of major competitors.

I would love to get you on the phone with ACME SOLUTIONS CEO to discuss the state of the industry and how they are able to provide such a cost efficient option…

 One Vendor Does Not a Trend Make  

 The only “story” here is that Acme Cloud claims to have lower prices and better customer service than its competitors. and targets an underserved market If I were on-staff covering the cloud industry and had a responsibility to my readers to report on every new entrant to the industry, profiling this company might make sense.

But that’s what this story is, a single company profile, not an industry trend piece. Trying to sell it as a trend actually hurts your case because the body of the email doesn’t back up the opening premise. As an editor or reporter, that tells me you’re trying to put lipstick on a pig and makes me stop reading.

You only have an industry trend story to pitch if:

  • It involves a new business model, competitive edge or technology. One company claiming lower prices or better customer service than another is as old as the hills.
  • It involves multiple companies, of which your client is a lead example. One company claiming a lead over all others is, by definition, a story about your client, not a trend.
  • If you explain how this trend helps the reader.  You could argue that, if Acme Cloud is so great, learning about it helps readers. But that’s only true to the extent their claims are true, and until someone else catches up to them. Next month, Acme could stumble and a competitor take the lead in pricing or service. A better trend pitch would give customers tips on how to choose a cloud vendor that will have lasting advantage over others.

Deliver What You Promise

If there’s more industry insight and thought leadership here, the PR pro needs to identify it in the pitch, and their spokesperson has to deliver on it in the interview. And he has to be able to point to other players, besides themselves, who can vouch for this new trend.

Yes, that’s a tough challenge. But there’s precious little space in credible publications these days, and you have to earn your way into them.

What client pitches are, and aren’t working with influential trade pubs these days? How do you identify, develop and sell industry trend pitches that work? Send me your best examples and I’ll highlight them in a guest post.= 

Need help developing and executing thought leadership content? Drop me a line and we can brainstorm some ideas.

Author: Bob Scheier
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I'm a veteran IT trade press reporter and editor with a passion for clear writing that explains how technology can help businesses. To learn more about my content marketing services, email bob@scheierassociates.com or call me at 508 725-7258.

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