Well-written news releases, bylined articles and creative and aggressive story pitching are tried-and-true methods public relations professionals employ to generate positive media coverage for clients. But sometimes, veering ever so slightly off the traditional media relations course can pay significant dividends.
When the high-tech industry team for a global sales and marketing firm was looking to increase awareness of its channel analytics expertise, our PR team did just that and worked with the company to organize an editorial roundtable in Silicon Valley with several high-tech industry executives and a key industry reporter.
This event allowed the reporter to have an exclusive, on-the-record discussion with industry experts about challenges and developments related to channel analytics. In the end, the conversation resulted in a three-part series (Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3) that featured insights from all the roundtable participants.
For PR professionals, their clients and reporters, the editorial roundtable can offer several key benefits.
Boosts Chance for Big Coverage
Roundtables are treasure troves for reporters. They have the chance to talk with top industry executives in an expansive on-the-record session, without a competing publication in the room. As a result, they leave the roundtable with a significant amount of valuable information they can potentially turn into multiple major stories. Plus, they now have established relationships with key sources who may have been elusive before.
Offers Companies a Chance to Shine
In addition to being an effective media relations tactic, an editorial roundtable offers experts from the hosting company a chance to shine and demonstrate expertise in front of their own customers and prospects. While the reporter will bring unique questions and views on the roundtable topic, the overall theme of the discussion is decided by the host and its PR team. So, from the start, the host is set up to succeed and showcase expertise on a topic in their wheelhouse, in front of an important audience.
Nurtures Media Relationship
By offering a reporter access to prized sources in an organized format, the PR team has done a lot of the reporter’s legwork for them. This allows the reporter to focus almost entirely on research and reporting, not logistics. By doing this, the PR team demonstrates its value to the reporter and strengthens the working relationship.
In the end, an editorial roundtable can turn into a resounding win-win-win – for the client, the reporter and the PR professional.
By Kyle Adams, Account Supervisor, Public Relations