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Pitching Media: New Journalist Survey Offers Tips for Standing Out in the Crowded HR Tech Market

Affect, data analytics, employee behavior, Employee engagement, employee intelligence tools, HR tech, journalist survey, Marketing, media landscape, pitching media, Pr, Public relations, recruiting talent, talent engagement, talent retentionReporters Share Top Five Tips for HR Tech Companies to Get Noticed

Companies are seeking to better recruit, engage and retain their top talent, and obtain greater insight into how employee behavior impacts the overall business. HR tech companies have seized on this opportunity to provide the best possible data analytics, engagement and employee intelligence tools, but in this increasingly crowded market, it’s challenging for them to stand out in the media landscape, according to new research from PR and social media agency Affect.

The firm recently conducted a survey of top reporters at business and trade publications covering the HR tech landscape, including FortuneSHRM and eWeek, on what they really want to cover—and how companies can better get their attention. Based on their responses, as well as the expertise of Affect’s in-house HR tech specialists, below are the top five tips HR tech companies need to know when pitching the media.

1)  Understand How Reporters Choose Their Stories

Reporters scour other news sites and social media platforms, from Twitter to Snapchat, to find out what their target audience is talking about or what’s trending, and interpret those topics for their readership. They also look at their own website analytics to see what people are searching for and reading, and then steer their news stories in that direction. You can tap into reporter interests by keeping a close eye on what’s trending, and then build a story for your company around those topics. Affect refers to this as Trend Intervention and Story Hijacking.

2)  Avoid Buzzwords and Tired Topics

There are some primary themes of interest this year in HR tech, including cybersecurity and analytics, talent management, changing overtime regulations, and the evolution of performance management, so it’s a good idea to create storylines related to these topics.

On the other hand, buzzwords reporters are sick of hearing include “customer experience management” and “human capital management.” If you must talk about those topics, find new ways of describing them and add something alternative to the conversation.

3)  Arm Yourself with Data 

Packaging up your story with some strong data is one of the best ways to garner media coverage. Proprietary data—either from your own technology, customers or operations, or based on a third-party survey—can lend credibility to the company and provide proof points for your perspective. HR tech reporters are currently interested in data around a few key topics.

  • Cybersecurity issues and how best to protect the enterprise
  • HR and analytics
  • The new overtime rule and how that may impact the workplace
  • Effectively using technology to implement benefits

However, any time you have surprising, shocking or counterintuitive data, it will generally pique a reporter’s interest and can be enough to create a whole new storyline in the media, so don’t be afraid to go out on a limb.

4)  Offer Subject Matter Experts and Tips

Reporters want to talk to subject matter experts in their fields. They aren’t interested in speaking with vendors who are trying to sell things to their readers, unless they have some really good research or a point of view that may be eye opening to HR professionals—so you’ll have better success if you offer a business or technical executive versus a marketing professional as your spokesperson. Reporters also love when experts can share easy-to-read advice or tips for their audience, so they can easily drag and drop them into an article. Thus, bullet points do better than long-winded pitches.

5)  Know the Outlet!

The number one thing reporters want you to know is, “Read my stories before you pitch me.” It seems like a no-brainer, but this small tip is often forgotten. Knowing the reporter you’re pitching and the outlet they work for is critically important. Invest the time to read their articles or watch their show, learn about their audience, and get a good sense of what they cover, so your pitch can be really customized. Reporters also said that if you’re ever in doubt of who covers what, just call and ask the editorial department.

Read the complete report here.

Source: Business Wire; edited by Richard Carufel

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