What influences an agency to take action, to launch new programs, to do more training, to buy your products? Agencies act for many different reasons including but not limited: response to presidential directives and initiatives, congressional mandates, inspector general reports, technological change, trade association meetings, and articles in the media. I encourage all my clients to routinely review media that focuses on Federal business (See FedBiz: Stay informed via Federal Magazine).
By closely following relevant publications, you will gain a sense for current trends in government but also be able to become part of the conversation. How, by providing your thoughts in response to interesting articles. Doing so makes other readers more aware of your perspectives and capabilities But a word of advice, don’t offer opinions if they are not unique and propel your reputation. Contribute information of value, and not just an advertisement for your products or services. You’ll be surprised how many people respond to your thoughts and contact you for additional information. This type of activity should become routine practice in your federal marketing efforts.
GSA Marketing Plan
Ideally though, you will become even more proactive in developing a GSA marketing plan that align with what you know will be in upcoming issues of these publications. It’s easier to offer some words of wisdom when you have time to prepare your thoughts. Doing this is easier you might think. You simply go to the publications website and search for either their editorial calendar or their media kit and look at the topics they have planned for the upcoming year. Based on this information, you can plan a campaign to take advantage of the increased awareness and attention that will result from the stories in the publication.
For example, let’s say I was a human resources consulting firm offering consulting and training on implementing innovative work practices such as teleworking. I would look at various publications that might address these issues. I might look at Government Executives magazine’s editorial calendar and discover that they will be covering Telework in their March publication. Great, but what would I do with this information.
If I had lots of money to spend, I might advertise in this edition or in one of their email newsletters. If I don’t advertising dollars in my budget (and even if I did), I would plan to hold a free webinar on “Implementing Telework in Large Organizations” or similar in mid-March. I would then promote it in a comment on their website after the article is published. I would be subtle by first providing some insightful comments about the article and then end with a passing comment about a free webinar regarding the topic. Or I might publish a white paper on my web site and promote it through a press release around the publication date. Either will draw qualified leads to you and you can then implement your sales process to try and close business. Or, given sufficient time (many months before the publication date), I might even contact the editor and offer some perspective on the topic. Perhaps then the reporter might contact you for a quote or otherwise include information about your firm in the article.
Improve GSA marketing with free PR
So plan to look at some federal media that might publish articles pertaining to your business and give some creative thought as to how you can exploit the topical buzz that will surely take place after the magazine publishes its work.