Widgets Magazine

Get In the Press

Last week I was honored to MC the PSNI Supersummit 2017. It was a great event, and over the course of two days, I met some great integration companies and manufacturers. I also moderated some panels. Look for those to be made into podcasts over the next month.
One of the panels featured some of my favorite people in the media side of audio visual. Kirsten Nelson and Lindsey Adler from SCN were there. Rachel Quetti of Commercial Integrator was on the panel. Hailey Klein of PSNI and Jane Johnson from Pivot Communications rounded out the group from a marketing and social aspect.
A few of the topics covered how to interact with various publications. If you have a great project and want it to be featured in SCN or Commercial Integrator, how does that process work? The answer, by the way, is just to email them an original story or blog complete with pictures. They will call and ask some questions, but the start of the conversation is pretty simple. Reach out.
During the setup of the panel I was working with PSNI on questions, and I came to a realization. As much as I, and others in the AV media, appreciate your time and commitment in giving us your stories we are not where you should be focusing your attention. Here’s why.
I am going to be frank. What is the goal of PR? It is to get your companies name out into the marketplace in front of your clients and potential clients to be seen as a thought leader and someone to go to when the time comes to get audio-visual work done. There is some validity in being on SCN’s Top 50 or Commercial Integrator’s 40 under 40 list. Let me ask you a question, do your customers read those magazines or go to those sites? Not a vast majority of them. The bulk of those magazines massive audience is you and those like you; audio visual professionals.
As we all talk about convergence regarding technology the real shift is where the money in AV lies. More often than not it is coming from the IT departments. There are still some organizations where facilities are in charge and even fewer that have AV departments. By and large, the budgets are held with the IT managers. And what do they read? Where do they go for news and information? This is the main thrust of my point. You need to go where your customers are.
This can be true if you are after architects, electricians, general contractors, or the IT space. All of these industries have various publications and sites that cater to them. Just as we at AVNation cater to you, the AV industry. Find out what those sites and publications are and begin offering up yourself or your staff as subject matter experts. Follow them on Twitter and LinkedIn. When you see them ask a question that is inherently AV, or even marginally AV, offer yourself up as an expert. Also, sign up for a service called HARO (Help a Reporter Out). I have no affiliation with them and get no kickback from this; it is just a good start to begin getting your company seen as a leader inside and outside the AV space.
I’ll say again, we as the media appreciate your time and effort. There is certainly value in coming on an AVWeek program, writing a story for SCN, or being interviewed by Commercial Integrator and others. In addition to these, I would encourage you to begin reaching out and helping those publications that serve the industries you are trying to serve as well.
Thank you for taking the time to read my blog. Have a great week.
Some non-AV publications for you to consider. If you have others I would love to hear about them. Put them in the comments below.
Electrical Contractor Magazine
Contractor Magazine
AIA Architect Magazine

About Author

Tim Albright is the founder of AVNation and is the driving force behind the AVNation network. He carries the InfoComm CTS, a B.S. from Greenville College and is pursuing an M.S. in Mass Communications from Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville. When not steering the AVNation ship, Tim has spent his career designing systems for churches both large and small, Fortune 500 companies, and education facilities.

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