The first thing to understand when your company sends news to a construction magazine editor is that they work within a deadline-driven, high-pressure content production machine and have no time for shenanigans. Unless you’re paying for advertising, you’re attempting to procure what is known in public relations as earned media. Like everything else of value in this world, you need to earn publicity. The best way to do that is to avoid pissing editors off. Click To Tweet
Understand that my perspective is not one sided. These days I spend much of my time working with dozens of editors to earn publicity for our heavy construction clients. Earlier in my career; however, I served as editor of two heavy construction magazines (Constructioneer Magazine and Highway Builder). The following insider tips are based on my 360-degree perspective of what it takes to get published in the heavy construction market.
Send Irrelevant Content
Make sure you’re targeting the right publications. Editors want to see that you know enough about their publication and audience to send relevant news. A demolition magazine editor doesn’t want to be bothered with a press release announcing your new paver line. Click To Tweet Companies sometimes make the mistake of hiring a wire service to blanket as many magazines as possible. Leave mass distribution to Walmart. Heavy construction is a niche market; hand pick the most relevant publications for best results.
Submit Poorly Written Material
Construction magazine editors are ridiculously busy. The last thing they want is a poorly written story with typos, poor grammar, etc. Most will delete your content before engaging in an extensive edit at the first sign of carelessness. If it’s not well written, don’t send it. Also, you may get blacklisted. Editors greatly value sources that send them high quality content requiring little to no editing.
Construction magazines have editorial policies, regardless of whether owned by a private publisher or trade association. One of the editor’s jobs is to enforce that policy. Exclusive content is a hot button issue that might be included. Some magazines won’t run an article if it has been or will be published elsewhere. If you intentionally violate a magazine’s editorial policy, you can forget about being published there in the future. And don’t waste time trying to negotiate the policy; it’s often established by a group; i.e. editorial board.
Pester Them for Publicity
Editors have different email communication preferences. Some will confirm receipt of your content; others won’t. Some will reveal their publicity intentions; others won’t. Do not bombard them with constant emails and phone calls if you don’t get a response. This will only cement their decision not to run your story.
Write Overly Promotional Content
Construction magazines have a higher tolerance for promotional content than the general media, but most want some level of objectivity. The more technical publications are especially sensitive to this. They want objective technical content, not fluff. Make sure you understand the magazine’s editorial policy with regard to promotional content. If you have a burning desire to scale the tallest mountain and beat your chest about the superiority of your company, product, or service, buy an ad. Click To Tweet
Send Photos without Captions
Never send a photo without a caption. Editors don’t have the time or inclination to research your story. Some will try to write captions based on your copy, but do you really want to take the chance of a photo being mistakenly identified? Don’t hit send until your package is complete.
Use Poor Quality Photos
You know that progress photo you snapped on the jobsite with your smartphone? Don’t send that. Editors understand that some construction companies can’t or won’t enlist the help of a professional photographer, but they also expect reasonable quality. If it’s too grainy, too small, low resolution, or poorly composed, don’t bother sending it. If you’re not sure of the dimensions or file size needed, check with the editor.
Why Construction Magazine Editors Matter
Construction magazine editors are the gatekeepers to tens of thousands of important people you want to reach with your news. Click To Tweet It’s important to remember that they are doing you a favor by granting you free publicity. They want your news but they don’t need it. If the magazine is important to you, don’t piss off the editor. Take the time to build a relationship instead.
What other tips do you have for maintaining a positive relationship with construction editors?
Need help getting published in the right construction magazines? Click here to learn more about our PR services.
Blog photo source: ©dmitrimaruta – Can Stock Photo Inc.