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April 18, 2024

Research & Relationships Key To Connecting in Changing Media Landscape

Housewares marketing communications and media pros joined forces during the recent Inspired Home Show to discuss how to optimize exposure and engagement in a rapidly changing media landscape.

The panel discussion, part of the show’s Inspiration Theater education program, was moderated by Emily Cappiello, principal of Emily Jane Communications and featured Susan Jardina, owner, Jardina Communications; Kristyn Fuller, managing director, Field Marketing + Media; Erica Finemore, home director, Real Simple; and Nicole Papantoniou, director, kitchen appliance lab, Good Housekeeping.

Real Simple’s Finemore noted, “Things are changing really quickly. It used to be we had just print, now we’re trying to gather content for print, for digital, for TikTok, for Instagram, for our newsletter. So we need more content than ever, we’ve been creating more content than ever, and there are less people to do that than ever.”

Given the need, publications and the various satellite operations can be open to public relations materials. However, publications and their various ancillaries have to parse a heavy volume of information directed to them.

“I read all my emails; Constantly send emails,” Papantoniou said. “It’s really important to have personal relationships to really understand your messaging.”

The theme of personal relationships was a constant in the panel discussion. Papantoniou said knowing what kinds of content are needed at a particular publication is important and can be a basis for relationships.

From the public relations side, Jardina said, in trying to get coverage for her clients, she recognized that fewer people are doing a lot of work in media operations.

“The most important thing now, really, is not necessarily trying to get into desk sides or meetings, but it’s really knowing what people are working on, what stories are coming up,” Jardina said. “That requires a lot of work on our part.”

Research is important to know what to pitch and when to pitch it.

Cappiello noted building relationships and interacting in a productive way means managing client expectations.

Along those lines, Fuller said, “It’s the constant communication with the editor and also telling the client what we’ve been doing. I have always viewed PR as a momentum-build business built over time.”

In outreach to publications, companies have to consider fewer major outlets exist today. Those remaining in the market are more diverse and may require more diverse outreach, as well as consideration of multiple schedules editors and writers face as they work on everything from web updates to major editorial projects. Research and building personal relationships become a means of ensuring the content sent is appropriate for the various needs publications have at any given time.

“We’re going to have less places to tell meaningful stories, so we have to really make those stories count,” Cappiello said.

Pictured above: l-r, Emily Cappiello, Erica Finemore, Nicole Papantoniou, Susan Jardina and Kristyn Fuller.

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