Among the most important opportunities for trade and B2B editorial coverage each year are the Forward Features which many publications include in each edition.
Also referred to as ‘editorial calendar’ or ‘planned’ features, these authoritative in-depth articles, sometimes brought together as supplements, cover trends and developments in key sectors of a market. In doing so they offer wonderful opportunities for organisations to build their reputations as thought leaders and innovators and to build awareness of brand developments and products.
Market leaders and emerging brands often compete for the dominant share of voice and to be seen as the visionary leader of trends. So making the most of the opportunities in what is sometimes a once-a-year focus on a subject is vital and requires strategy, tactics, knowledge, proactivity and determination.
Here are some of our tips to maximise results from forward feature opportunities:
- Review the list and approach the features editor well before the publication date to find out who is the writer, the angle – synopsis and the deadline – for a monthly magazine this may need to be done no later than10 weeks before publication day.
- Some organisations just send their most recent press release. Instead most writers prefer to receive content that is tailored to their synopsis and to define in what format they would like it. That could be a telephone interview, written answers to predefined questions or open thoughts and news relevant to the subjects. It is important to ask the editor or writer how they would like the copy, how many words and the writer’s deadline – and then to respond accordingly.
- Writers prefer, and are more likely to include in the feature, strong original comments and real news. Be brave and have a bold opinion – too many companies and interviewees are wary and sit on the fence. This rarely results in media pick up.