A successful PR programme depends on much more than creating a great story. Your story needs to be seen by the right people – such as potential customers or other key stakeholders. That makes selecting your target media a critical success factor. But that is not always easy, especially when working in some engineering sectors such as rail, utilities or renewables, where there can be an almost bewildering choice. It is tempting to strike paywall publications from your list. But there is a risk of missing out on media that could deliver the best results for your business.

There are two main reasons for not wanting to contribute articles or interviews to media with a paywall in place. First, when the coverage appears it doesn’t contribute to SEO. Second, you cannot link directly to the coverage from your own website.

However, that does not mean that these media outlets lack value. Far from it. They are offering a premium product. One that readers are willing to pay for through a subscription. That makes them more committed and more likely to be interested in your story. And because their readers are paying for the privilege, editors usually set a high bar on the quality of article they will accept – your story benefits far more from third-party editorial endorsement than in other publications.

As a case in point. Before entering the world of PR, I was a material scientist working in fatigue research. I am proud to be a member of the Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining (IOM3) and still look forward to receiving my copy of Materials World. But to access the really interesting articles you have to be a subscriber. So as a PR professional, if you want to target readers with an active interest in materials, then this publication is a really powerful way of doing that – paywall or not.

Perhaps the best way of deciding if a paywall is a deal-breaker for you is simply to ask your customers (and other stakeholders) what they read. If they value a publication enough to subscribe, then you can be sure that it is one you need to work with.

Achieving customer recognition and becoming established as a thought leader can be crucial to the success of your B2B PR programme. That means using the media that is best for your message, not just best for SEO. Don’t fear the paywall!

If you would like to know more about how PR can help your business, contact us today.

 

Written by: Andrew Bartlett, Science and Engineering Director

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