5 Tips to Boost Supply Chain Coverage in a Slow News Cycle

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Remember how often supply chain stories were making national headlines during the pandemic? Everyone was interested in your logistics clients’ thoughts on toilet paper hoarders and nine-dollar eggs.

Now that supply chains have stabilized, getting bites from reporters on supply chain story pitches requires a bit more strategy. Here are five ways to increase your odds of securing media interest:

Leverage proprietary data. Reporters and editors alike love data to support their story, so if your logistics client generates industry outlook data, that’s a great hook for a pitch. Even if the client doesn’t regularly produce data, you may be able to find meaningful tidbits in existing marketing material or create it by conducting customer surveys. Data is king when it comes to media, so showcase your client’s proprietary data whenever possible in your pitches.

Consider prevention and preparation topics: Don’t underestimate the lingering trauma of pandemic-related shortages and supply chain snarls for the business audience. Executives haven’t forgotten the mad scramble to find alternative sources and shipping routes, so they’re drawn to advice that can help them overcome potential supply chain challenges. Tips on how to prepare for future black swan events and improve organizational agility can be equally compelling to business leaders looking to get ahead.

Shake off the rapid-response mindset: Speaking of black swan events, we’ve endured a steady stream of them over the past few years, so it’s easy to fall into a rapid-response rhythm and subconsciously frame every pitch as a reaction to breaking news. The supply chain is ever-changing, and there are plenty of evergreen topics, like evolving customer expectations or sustainability in logistics, to explore that will proactively position your client as a thought leader without waiting for the breaking news story to come to you.

Talk to the client’s sales team: Sales teams should be using your media placements to drive demand. For example, a thought leadership piece that positions the client as a cold chain logistics (refrigerated trucks) expert can double as sales collateral. Alternatively, PR professionals should be using the sales team’s insights to drive media outreach. Salespeople spend their time talking to prospective customers, so they have the inside scoop on trends that are making a splash and which problems customers need solved. Creating a strong relationship with the sales team will help guide your PR strategy and focus. Not to mention, connecting your PR efforts to the sales team’s priorities will boost ROI for your client.

Pitch seasonal or vertical-specific topics: Positioning clients as subject matter experts on seasonal or vertical-specific topics is another way to drive timely coverage for logistics companies. “Seasonal” doesn’t have to relate to the holidays. For example, produce season could help you snag coverage in food and beverage publications, or peak holiday gift shipping season offers opportunities for angles in retail trade outlets.

As PR professionals, we’ve never completely relied on breaking news to help us place content for our clients. Newsjacking is a powerful technique for elevating a client’s brand, but it’s better considered an occasional treat than a foolproof media strategy since the news cycle always moves on.

When that inevitably happens, in the supply chain sector or any industry, PR professionals need to get scrappy and creative to secure media coverage for clients.

Carly Lang is a coordinator at Next PR.