In part one of our Smart People Saying Smart Stuff series, we met with Jen Martin to discuss some key components of effective media relations. Now, we’re turning our attention to creating engaging content. For this, we brought in our buddy Justin Grimsley, manager of corporate communications for Airwatch, a VMware company.
Justin discussed a variety of ways to create content people actually care about, three of which you can find below.
Feel free to imitate
Grimsley began by discussing the state of today’s readership. As we all know, it’s miserable. More and more companies are vying for ever-shorter attention spans. As a result, companies are exploring new delivery methods to drive engagement. And as Grimsley put it, there’s no shame in imitating someone who does this really well.
For instance, Quartz provides a daily news aggregate offering a 5-minute read to keep you up to date on the global economy. The writers use a combination of brevity and wit to provide a quick, relevant and readable daily email. A fan of the service, Grimsley said his team began using this format for their own weekly newsletters. As a result, they’ve seen an increase in both open and click-through-rates.
Secure additional case studies
For all of the new content in the world, one rule has remained unchanged: prospects love case studies. However, many of us know the frustration of contacting a prime case study candidate only to have them decline to participate. Grimsley mentioned that getting executive buy-in is key in this case. Leverage any c-suite relationships that exist between both companies, and try to get that buy-in from the top level.
We’ve also oulined five proven ways to engage your customer to get them to share their story in our on-demand webinar, titled “Ways to Make Customers Talk.” You’ll soon find yourself creating more content, writing more case studies and your prospects reading more of your material.
Adopting the Trump media relations model
To wrap things up, Grimsley surveyed the current state of media quotes and interviews. Whether your CEO is “excited for a new partnership” or your company is “thrilled to make a new announcement,” it’s all the same…and by the same, I mean boring. To counter this, Grimsley suggested looking to the least boring presidential candidate in recent history, Donald Trump. While Grimsley doesn’t support Trump’s policies, he does offer an interesting lesson in media relations.
Akin to Donald Trump, Grimsley says companies with executives skilled in communication should simply be turned loose and guided as they go. With some coaching on spontaneity and a bit of courage, this can help your organization skip the boring, “me too” responses that journalists overlook without a second glance. (Warning: this certainly isn’t meant for every company.)
Hopefully you’ve enjoyed part two of our Smart People Saying Smart Stuff series. A special thanks to Justin Grimsley for joining us and for sharing such great insights on creating content.
Smart People Saying Smart Stuff Part 1: Jen Martin