Location = Content (Give me something I can pitch!)


We all know that real estate axiom, “Location, location, location.” Well, in the PR/marketing world, location = content.

Content is what sets you apart from your competitors. Content is the primary way to establish thought leadership in your space. Content provides real value to your customers and prospects. And content is what I can pitch.

One of my duties as a member of the services team here at HRmarketer is to pitch my clients to journalists and editorial staff at HR publications. Every month, I scour the editorial calendars in search of opportunities, trying to secure bylined articles or inclusion in articles by staff writers. And between you, me and the fencepost, I kinda dread it sometimes.

Why? Because sometimes I have no content to pitch. I used to be a freelance journalist, so I was pitching for myself all the time. What I learned in the trenches is this: editorial staff don’t have time or patience for vague ideas and unsubstantiated claims. They want a brief overview of the proposed article, plus a statistic or quote from an expert. They want to know that the writer has the goods before they’ll commit to handing over a writing assignment.

Think about it. You’re a harried (and probably underpaid) editor at a magazine. You’re always on deadline, with a million details to manage. You receive two pitches on I-9 compliance on the same day:

1. I-9 compliance is causing increased concern amongst retailers as the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) continue to pursue an aggressive policy of audits, fines and even arrests. Joseph N. Impastato, president and CEO of talent management software provider nowHIRE, would like to offer [major retail magazine] an article on best practices in I-9 compliance.

and

2. In October of this year, Abercrombie & Fitch was fined over $1 million for paperwork violations and I-9 errors.

I-9 compliance is causing increased concern amongst retailers as the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) continue to pursue an aggressive policy of audits, fines and even arrests. ICE has done the following in FY 2010:

- Conducted more than 2,200 I-9 audits — up from a little more than 1,400 in FY 2009

- Imposed approximately $50 million in financial sanctions

- Debarred 97 businesses in FY 2010, up from 30 businesses in FY 2009

Joseph N. Impastato, president and CEO of talent management software provider nowHIRE, would like to offer [major retail magazine] an article on best practices in I-9 compliance. The article would include a list of nine essential questions companies should ask as they review their I-9 process and also address historical Form I-9 accuracy and storage. The article would advocate the use of current technologies, but no vendors would be named or implied.

Which one do you think the editor would pick? Which one would you pick? The second example, because it offers concrete evidence to back up its initial claims. The second example is the actual pitch I wrote last week for nowHIRE, and that pitch was accepted. I was able to score quickly for my client because he had a good content piece that I drew those statistics and facts from. And good content begets more content. There’s a ton of other ways to leverage that content (webinars, blogs etc.), but that’s a different blog post.

I’ve landed two other articles in high-profile publications for clients recently, and those two were also based on solid existing content. Of course it’s possible to win placements without existing content, but believe me, it’s a LOT harder. So, as the new year approaches, consider making a resolution to consistently produce good content. Your PR/marketing folks will love you for it! And your odds of greater exposure will increase significantly.

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