furniture hardwareIn the world of furniture hardware, as in many others, growing competition is making it increasingly difficult to stand out from the crowd. Even if you’re good. To make yourself heard, you need a balanced combination of investment in marketing and what the experts call earned content—in other words, content that is published with no financial agreement in the middle. Within this earned content is what is traditionally known as “public relations” or “media relations”, which contribute to the prestige of your brand.

However, despite the importance of good coverage in the media, many people falter when it comes to designing their public relations strategies. A distributor of furniture hardware shouldn’t follow the same plan as, say, a university or a soft drink brand. Each of them has its unique characteristics, and must know how to communicate them appropriately.

At IBMH, we’d like to offer some tips to establish a fruitful relationship with the media, which in turn may help you when evaluating a communications agency:

Be realistic.

One of the most common mistakes when designing a public relations strategy is making your goal to have your press release get published in a high-impact industry magazine. The information is no doubt important to you, but in order to decide if it is what you should send:

  • • Put yourself in the shoes of the people who decide which content gets into the magazine, and which doesn’t.
  • • Check that the content is actually relevant for the industry.
  • • Check that it is up to date.

Based on the answers:

  • • Either choose a less selective publication,
  • • Or write a new press release with a different focus.

What do you do best? Position yourself as an expert.

In line with what we said in the first tip, it isn’t just a matter of talking about what you do, but about what you know how to do. Do you have many years of experience in a particular emerging market that is starting to gain interest? Maybe journalists would be interested in your point of view in order to flesh out their news articles. Select whoever is writing about the subject, and send them a few lines that summarize your opinion.

Good things come to those who wait.

Don’t trust anyone who promises that you’ll become a household name overnight, with just one press release. A fruitful media strategy requires time and patience. In the long-term, the results will be worth it, but it isn’t immediate.

Have a good measurement system for each action.

Public relations isn’t just about sending press releases. There are many ways to offer relevant content related to your brand. With a good system to track results (clipping, digital alerts, brand surveys, etc.), you’ll know which topics or actions have been most successful. Based on the results, you can focus on those “good practices” and abandon those that aren’t paying off.

Quality over quantity.

Anyone with experience in the world of communications knows:

“It’s not about bombarding journalists, but rather about sending relevant content. That is the only way we will be able to open a dialogue and establish a solid relationship.”

But before promoting yourself, it’s vital to remember that “less is more”, and to do that:

  • • Organize your product matrix
  • • Review its amplitude (variety of quality for each product)
  • • Review its depth (alternatives for each product)
  • • Assess whether your mix of products is actually profitable

These are five basic tips that IBMH takes very seriously and which we wanted to share with you. Although, we’re sure that you have plenty of ideas to try out within the world of furniture and construction hardware. What about you? What public relations strategy do you use? Tell us about it!