Reading Time: 3 minutes

By Scott Samson

One core differentiator at SamsonPR is our focus on Tier 1 media, and our unique approach that allows our clients to generate this level of media coverage.

Step 1: Identify what is considered tier 1 media (which will vary for every company).

To be considered tier 1, media outlets should have strategic reach and/or be widely read to give your company both substantial validation and credibility while also reaching a big audience for you; including business and tech publications such as TechCrunch, Insider, Bloomberg, CNBC, WSJ, as appropriate.

It’s important to remember that trade publications are critical to the equation. In your industry, there may be 10-15 trade publications. While many of these we may classify as tier 2 or 3, there are typically 2-3 major trade publications in your industry that are highly read with a very specific audience that you’re selling to. It’s critical to be in these publications while also going “bigger.”

Step 2: Determine what each media publication covers and the appropriate writer(s) for each.

Out of the gate, it’s important to understand which writer at each publication covers your space. There may be a number of different writers that could be great to connect with, remembering that each writer has a very specific “beat” that they write on. For one writer, it may be covering one major tech company. For another, it may be a specific vertical or subject within a vertical.

One question we hear quite a bit is “how come a certain publication won’t cover this particular news?” Each publication and writer have things they cover, and things they don’t. This is not something you can change. However, you can tailor your approach based on what they actually cover and may be interested in.

Step 3: Build a relationship.

Seems easy enough as a concept, but one of the most overlooked steps.

With sales, cold calling can be challenging. The same goes for the media. If you don’t have a relationship, every time you want to approach a writer – it’s like starting from scratch. Building relationships with key writers is critical to the long term success of any PR program.

And over the course of a year or two, it’s a complete game changer for both your company and your personal brand.

Take the time to connect with a target list of 20 or so writers. Have a great conversation. Get them up to speed on your latest and greatest. Understand the writer’s needs and what they may be looking for. Keep in touch periodically. Be personable and accessible.

Step 4: Be a resource.

The best way to get tier 1 media coverage is to stop pitching random stories and company news to important writers – essentially asking and expecting them to do something for you. What have you done for them?

A relationship goes both ways. Instead of pushing your news out, check in and find out how you can be a resource for a writer and let them know what you can offer – i.e. exclusive data insights, intel on the broader industry and trends, etc.

You may be surprised that if you stop asking for something, and start offering to help, they will take you up on the offer!

This is how so many of our clients at SamsonPR see big media results.

These are four steps that can help land bigger and better coverage for your business, and the approach we take at SamsonPR. Building this foundation for a PR program, combined with building a disruptive story will be a formula for landing tier 1 media coverage!

(PS, stay tuned for an upcoming blog on how to best build a disruptive story…)

Here are some of our recent TV interviews and coverage for our clients, to inspire and show what is achievable if you take the right approach!

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/videos/2023-05-08/how-to-discern-a-reliable-ai-company-video

https://finance.yahoo.com/video/top-things-look-investing-ai-212411572.html

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/videos/2024-01-29/amazon-aims-to-turn-tvs-into-shopping-carts-video

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Reading Time: 3 minutes

By Scott Samson

Time and time again, we hear from new clients: “We want senior people on the team. We were burned by a previous PR agency that sold us up front, and then pulled a bait-and-switch. Ultimately, we found ourselves working with a big team of inexperienced PR folks fresh out of college.”

Yikes!

The SamsonPR take: If you’re a founder/CEO, it’s your business. We believe you should take that very seriously, and push to have the very best helping to grow your business. You want an A-team (and only an A-team) that delivers big results.

Traditional PR agencies won’t provide that for you, unfortunately. Many clients have come to us after having a bad experience with a big team of junior folks who just weren’t getting results.

If this is something you’re struggling with, here are some reasons why this could be happening:

  1. You aren’t getting a team that’s senior enough.
  2. Your budget is just too small.
  3. The agency’s PR team does not have the right media connections and/or approach.

Budget challenges:

Your first stop on the path to course correction should be to break down budgets and determine whether you may be challenged due to penny-pinching. Even though many agencies have moved away from billing hourly to favor a flat fee retainer, they still must substantiate their teams’ salaries vs how much time they spend working for you. This means you can estimate the actual resources the agency is allocating for your PR efforts.

Our solution for tighter budgets is to put fewer people on the team, and to make sure they are senior to effectively drive the workload. Fewer people, more senior, with more time on the account will help get things on track. And a budget increase may be needed if you want to make sure the PR is impactful and helps accelerate your business in a crowded market – it takes a lot of work!

The right media connections:

Getting a senior team on board is also critical because experience and deep expertise helps ensure they have deep media connections.

No matter what a PR person may say, connections matter. Who they know matters. The ability to email or call a reporter they’ve worked with many times matters. Having connections that translate to coverage is the whole point of engaging a PR team in the first place.

Make sure your PR agency and team have these media connections and understand what those reporters want to see.

What we do is leverage these deep media connections to help our clients build long term relationships with the right reporters, and we do this by making sure our clients position themselves as a key resource – helping reporters with things they may need such as inside knowledge of a topic, expertise, unique point-of-views and data insights.

You need to have an interesting story, but when it comes to tier 1 media, the story often isn’t about you. It’s about the larger industry and trends, and being a great resource for media can help you be part of these conversations. For that, connections and relationships matter.

Our approach works.

According to one of our clients, “SamsonPR has been a trusted advisor and partner, helping accelerate our awareness and thought leadership with a focus on growth. Their value lies within their tier 1 media approach and relationships, and then bringing together product, sales and marketing to connect the dots for high-growth tech companies.”

The takeaways: 1) make sure your budget is where it needs to be to get the team you deserve and to do enough in the market to stand out; 2) make sure you get a senior team dedicated to driving PR for your company; and 3) make sure your agency has the right media connections and deep expertise in your industry.

And, to learn more about how the SamsonPR method is driving the right kind of results for clients all across the tech landscape, connect with us today!

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Reading Time: 2 minutes

As you may have noticed, today we launched a new brand for SamsonPR and we’re excited for everyone to check out our new website as well.

It’s been a big year for us at SamsonPR. Some of our key accomplishments include:

We’ve onboarded a group of amazing clients that we’re driving big media results for.

We brought in new members to the SamsonPR team.

We launched six practice areas for the company.

We’ve doubled revenue year-over-year.

One of the main reasons for our growth, and ability to drive tier 1 media results for our clients, is our rockstar team of PR experts. They work tirelessly for our clients to ensure we’re helping their businesses grow. And that’s what we do at the end of the day, we fuel our clients’ growth through 1) developing and redefining their categories; 2) putting them on the map as category leaders; 3) driving brand lift and awareness; and 4) transforming complex data into meaningful insights.

As these four areas come together, we are full steam ahead driving a new category of PR for all our clients at SamsonPR: Growth PR.

As part of our Growth PR approach, we implement category-specific, data-driven PR strategies to help you lead your industry category – the perfect trifecta to empower product, sales, and marketing: Tier 1 media relationships + deep domain expertise + a disruptive story. When your sales team walks into a meeting, the prospect should know who you are and want a piece of the action. Our PR approach enables that.

As we look ahead, there are many exciting milestones on the horizon and we look forward to continuing to be a trusted PR partner and extension of our clients’ teams.

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Reading Time: 2 minutes

PR ≠ marketing. Boom, mic-drop. 

As the CEO of a B2B tech PR agency, I have encountered many who mistake these fields as two different names for the same thing, with the same goals and outcomes. This way of thinking can be harmful to the end goals of both. 

While there are many similarities, there are also crucial ways in which these two communication strategies diverge. And by thinking of public relations (PR) as an extension of marketing, CEOs and CMOs can weaken and destroy their own brand.

When you look at marketing goals, they are almost always based on generating qualified leads and feeding the sales team what they need to close deals. Thinking that PR exists to drive conversions in the same way that marketing does is missing the larger picture.

A one-off press hit can bring eyes to your product much like a one-off marketing campaign. But longer — even multiyear — PR campaigns can do something much more powerful. They can create brand equity. 

Brand equity affects not just the entire funnel from top to bottom, but also all other areas of your business – executive visibility, recruitment, funding, customer retention, and more. Simply put: more people will know about your brand.

A well-positioned, contiguous marathon campaign can make your brand and executives true thought leaders, with your stakeholders instantly more interested in your messages. 

If you invest the time and money in great PR people or an agency that truly understands your product, the result is respect and notability. 

Thus, PR is most effective when it is given time to build real relationships between the media and your brand, between the media and your executives — with momentum building over time. PR isn’t just a marketing function; it supports all areas of your business if done right. 

Brand equity and visibility are critical to the survival of any business. This is something Bill Gates understands, as he famously said, “If I was down to my last dollar, I’d spend it on public relations.”

For the full article that ran on Forbes, visit:

https://www.forbes.com/sites/forbesbusinesscouncil/2021/03/10/the-difference-between-marketing-and-pr—and-why-it-matters/?sh=3c9e4d6f1552

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I’ve done PR for over 20 years, and in that time, there has been INCREDIBLE changes in the media. 

The tech has changed dramatically, too – I used to spend my mornings hunched over a fax machine, feeding hundreds of sheets of paper into that mechanical beast, hoping that newsrooms would be interested in the press releases being spit out the other side. 

Then a phone call replaced the fax, only to be replaced in turn by email. Back when email was first introduced, cold-emailing would be like cold-texting someone today. Very personal, almost rude! 

Now, fax machines have long since left offices, and emails have become the de-facto mode of communication. In many ways, workflows have gotten easier. However, these technological changes are small potatoes compared with how the newsrooms have changed in that same timeframe. 

There are two major ways that newsrooms and media have shifted in the last 20 years. The first shift, to no-one’s surprise, is that newsrooms have gotten a lot smaller. From 2008 to 2019, newsroom employment at U.S. newspapers dropped a whopping 51% – and that’s before the record-shattering, pandemic-induced 16,160 newsroom layoffs in 2020. Simply put, there are fewer reporters, editors, photographers and videographers in the newsroom than ever before. 

The second change is an evolution in the medium. As traditional media has faltered, digital media has become incredibly widespread. In 2011, the average American spent about 7.5 hours a day on traditional media (TV, radio, print, & other) and about 3.5 hours a day with digital media. By 2020, these numbers have inverted, with Americans spending 7.8 hours a day on digital media and only 5.6 hours with traditional. 

The coronavirus has been linked with a dramatic increase in digital media consumption during 2020, which implies that the numbers may become even more skewed towards digital media as the pandemic continues in 2021. As the industry at large has shifted, many traditional organizations have invested in their digital presence. Everything is on the internet in 2021, including radio and television. 

With these two large-scale shifts in the media, the best practices for PR professionals have shifted as well – here are two tips for interacting with media in 2021 and beyond: 

  1. Fact Check! And then check again.

With smaller newsrooms, faster news cycles, and busier journalists, newsroom professionals once tasked with fact-checking have found themselves with less and less time to do so. The unfortunate reality is that if you are pitching a story to media, it’s on you to make sure everything is correct. While one nice feature of the internet is that corrections can be made in hours (instead of having to wait for the next day’s paper to print a retraction), it’s always better to be accurate the first time. 

  1. Remember that reporters are people.

Reporters have children, hobbies, pet peeves – and they’re being paid to write about a specific beat, in a specific format. When pitching reporters, having an understanding of what they’re looking to publish is absolutely critical. 

As digital media has led to a diverse range of publications that cover a huge quantity of subjects, sending a story to the right audience is more important than ever. It’s a waste of everyone’s time to pitch a reporter on a story they won’t care about! 

Instead, do the research and find reporters that cover the type of content that you’re pitching. Remember that they are likely under a deadline, so have empathy and try to work with them. Instead of just throwing ideas at a reporter, become a resource. Be helpful throughout the process of pitching to publication. 

Ideally, try to build relationships where your (or your client’s) specific field expertise can be an asset to the reporter. If they call you to get a quote about a story, it’s a win for both parties – the reporter’s life is made easier, and you’ve secured press coverage.

While the media has undergone a striking change in the last twenty years, there still is great content being produced and many opportunities for press coverage. You just have to do the research and find the right fit for your story.

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