Editors’ Top Tips on Getting Publicity
By Rosalie Berg
Getting great, recurring press for your company can seem daunting. What does it take to get published? In today’s blog, we capture what some of the mortgage industry’s top editors told us about how companies can get better press. We heard of their favorite topics, favorite angles, the right measures to take—and their pet peeves.
You may be surprised to read what they said.
Mike Sorohan, associate VP of electronic publications with the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA), tells us that he’s interested in “anything that continues to move the real estate finance industry forward into the 21st century. Technology continues to be a hot topic (block chain, anyone?). I also love stories that talk about demographic opportunities and challenges. For example, how do we corral the millennial generation? What can we do to make the industry more diverse?”
“Our readers gravitate toward articles and other content that provide a unique perspective and analysis of a topic that’s backed up with compelling data,” says Austin Kilgore, editor in chief of National Mortgage News. “We strive to identify new approaches to old problems and help mortgage professionals think about the challenges affecting their businesses in a new light.”
As for today’s hot topics, MortgageOrb Editor Patrick Barnard says “The whole industry is undergoing a transformation right now and a lot of people have their own unique visions for how it should operate in the future. It is those visions of how the industry can be improved that seem to be getting the most interest right now.” Barnard says a particular topic of interest to his publication is regulatory reform, including GSE reform and the potential for the rollback of Dodd-Frank. Technology and automation and how they’re reshaping the industry also made the list.
Now that we know what these journalists are after, what turns them off? Plenty—so take note.
Sorohan’s pet peeve is the word “solution,” which he refuses to use. “I’ve been in the business for more than 30 years, and I’ve seen a lot of ‘solutions’ come and go,” he says. “As editor of publications representing the Mortgage Bankers Association, describing a product as a ‘solution’ implies an endorsement, something I cannot put MBA in a position to do.”
“My biggest pet peeve – and this is a prevalent problem in B-to-B publishing – is when I request contributed features for our magazines and they don’t come in as discussed,” says MortgageOrb’s Barnard. “I wish more contributors saw this as an opportunity to educate and inform the audience rather than trying to get their marketing message out.”
Barnard advises contributors to ‘pretend you’re at a cocktail party, chatting with your colleagues or prospects in the mortgage industry. It should be no different when you write an article for that same audience. Pretend the audience is right there in the room with you and your goal is to educate and inform – and, hopefully, entertain as well.”
“Answer the phone when we call,” Kilgore of National Mortgage News says. “And don’t be afraid to give us a call when you see something interesting going on.” Also on his list are low-quality headshots. “It’s such a simple thing, but one of the biggest challenges we face on a weekly basis. A high-resolution photo means that it’s print quality and won’t appear pixelated on a computer screen. You don’t need have to have a professional headshot – even a simple portrait that’s shot in a well-lit room against a plain backdrop can work. Just make sure the camera is set to the highest image quality possible.”
And there’s more. “Be persistent—and patient,” says Sorohan. “MBA NewsLink and MBA Insights are a three-person operation and I get more than 100 emails a day from people who think their product is the best thing since sliced bread and that I should drop what I’m doing to cover it.”
Fortunately, he says, “I am spoiled to be able to work with great outfits like Strategic Vantage, who know the industry and make a point of establishing relationships with journalists like me. That makes my job so much easier and I am very appreciative of the effort.”
Indeed, having a great PR firm to handle your media and public relations is the best way of making sure your company gets seen in the places you want to be seen. Whether it’s writing a thought leadership article or being interviewed for an article, we can make it happen. Reach out to us at Info@StrategicVantage.com.