Maximizing Media Relations

By Andrew Markel, Director of Content of TechGroup
Mark Philips, Editor of Counterman
Babcox Media

Editors receive hundreds of press releases each week. How do they sort through and classify those releases that are most newsworthy? Editors apply many of the same practices that a daily news reporter would, because many have been daily beat reporters. At the most basic level, editors ask, is this news? Is it new? We then decide the potential effect this news may have:

  • How many stakeholders in the automotive aftermarket might be affected?
  • How will this information impact technicians working in the bays?
  • How will this help a shop owner run a more efficient and profitable business?
  • Does the information help relay industry/market trends?

If there’s a sense of urgency to it, it’s normally posted immediately to our websites, unless the editor needs to get a comment from the company or requires clarification. We will also investigate claims made in the press release. Once the most newsworthy items are assessed, we filter through and find less time-sensitive items we might use in the print edition. The highly newsworthy stories also are printed. However, editors may edit them in a way that brings the most timely elements to the forefront.

But don’t be shy about what might be newsworthy: One publication’s audience might find a company’s news more interesting than another audience. For example, news about new packaging is important to many audiences because anything that affects distribution and repair, and how a part might be handled is newsworthy. Have a new logo? That’s news!

In general, most editors use email almost exclusively to filter through news releases. But social media also is a great way to get our attention. Messaging on Facebook and Twitter, for example, has resulted in numerous stories. For the most part, any press release will result in a social media post across all our social media outlets.

Multimedia: Video is exploding and shows no sign of slowing down. Babcox Media has invested in a state-of-the-art studio and each and every day editors record videos about newsworthy topics, including technical alerts and new product releases.