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PR From a Media Perspective: Industry Dive

PR From A Media Perspective: Industry Dive

Did you know that media publications have public relations teams? Did you know part of their job is to gain press recognition for the journalists at their publication and the articles they publish?

Whether you did or did not know the answer to the questions above, we’re here to help you learn more about PR from a media perspective with the public relations manager of Industry Dive, Suzanne Struglinski. She’s been the PR manager there for the past year and a half, “promoting business journalism created at Industry Dive, managing editorial and business award entries, developing story promotion process and outreach strategy, and pitching subject matter expert journalists for on-air appearances.”

Below, Suzanne shares more about her start in public relations, her role at Industry Dive as a PR pro, her experience proving the value of PR to her executive team, and more.

 

Tell us a little about yourself.

No one will ever describe me as quiet, boring or shy – which makes PR the perfect spot for me. Journalism has always been a part of my life in part because I am a naturally curious person who instinctively asks a lot of questions but also because I really enjoy learning about – and trying – new things or meeting new people. I bring energy, humor and that little something extra to all my projects.

 

Tell us about some of your professional self.

I am a “journalism-enthusiast” who has built a career on a news-writing background. I am a journalist and editor by training, so I can write, meet deadlines and get up to speed on issues quickly. As the media industry has changed, I added new perspectives and skills. I learned I could take so many of the things I love about journalism and apply them to public relations. While I am certainly not the first former reporter to find a new role, I don’t see it as going to the dark side – I enjoy PR and know I am a solid resource for reporters.

 

How did you get started in public relations?

I covered the energy and environment industry for a long time. After my newspaper bureau closed, I was editing a monthly health care magazine when the Natural Resources Defense Council called looking to add a press secretary for legislative affairs to its team. It was a great opportunity to get back to issues I knew a lot about, follow Congress and work with reporters  – and my PR career was born.

 

What drove you to want to do PR for a news outlet?

My internships and first job out of college were for business publications, so I understand their role in the journalism and information landscape. I followed Industry Dive for a few years as it always had real reporting jobs open when other news organizations seemed to be getting smaller – so it had to be doing something right. When the public relations job opened up, I jumped at the chance to build brand awareness about an actual growing, successful media company and also promote good journalism at the same time.  Journalism and news have been a big part of my life since editing my high school newspaper and this “newsroom adjacent” job is a perfect way to capture all the different things I like to do. Journalists and PR professionals can actually learn a lot from each other for each side to do their jobs better.

 

What’s unique about doing PR for a news outlet?

I make news about news. Pitching stories on its own is a challenging task, so getting the media to write about other media is a special challenge.  I handle the overall company’s latest news (we’ve had five acquisitions since mid-2020) as well as work with our journalists to promote specific stories and work. As quickly as the news cycle changes – or our reporters uncovered something – plans and strategies can change just as fast. Similar to other in-house public relations or communications professionals, I work on messaging, storytelling, branding and other strategies but I work alongside a newsroom full of reporters.

 

In what ways do you prove the value of PR to your executive team?

Getting coverage on our latest acquisition or other announcements or having one of my reporter colleagues interviewed as an expert on a topic are clear wins tied to media outreach and messaging work. It’s important to communicate what’s working and what’s not, and how to shift tactics to work toward coverage goals or realign goals as needed. We also have a new PR product DiveWire and being the in-house expert on what PR professionals need has directly led to its growth and progress so far.

 

Tell us a bit about Industry Dive and the various publications.

Industry Dive is a business journalism company that has redefined business-to-business media with newsletters that spark ideas, shape agendas, and connect carefully curated audiences of business leaders and decision-makers. Since 2012, Industry Dive has modernized how industries follow the news, develop marketing plans and implement communications strategies.

Rooted in a commitment to high-quality journalism, Industry Dive’s 90-person newsroom covers industry-centric news across 25 publications. Our reporters dive into news that touches 22 different markets and nearly every department within a company. Our daily newsletters hit email inboxes every weekday with updates, articles, and analysis and the weekly newsletters drill down into even more specific topics.  Each of our publications has evolved into an industry information resource with searchable archives of news stories, outside opinion essays, continuously updated trackers, recommended readings, event listings as well client-sponsored announcements and learning opportunities.

This consistent flow of credible information keeps our audiences engaged – and coming back. Based on what the newsroom learns through its close examination of the industries we cover, a separate team works with marketers, public relations professionals, and advertisers to leverage our editorial insight and audience distribution channels. This creates the right opportunities for businesses to get their announcements, products and services in front of those who need them most.

Taking the journalistic approach to storytelling even further, studioID, Industry Dive’s global content studio, works with clients to nurture prospects and customers from discovery through purchase, connecting brand-to-demand. Our content writers and strategists help guide brands in 30 countries and in 30 languages to tell the stories that matter to their audiences – and in return – build strong relationships, earn trust, and generate demand.

Founded as a bootstrapped start-up in Washington, DC, by Sean Griffey, Eli Dickinson and Ryan Willumson, Industry Dive launched into its first five industries: Construction, Education, Marketing, Utility and Waste in 2012. In September 2019, private equity firm Falfurrias Capital Partners acquired a majority equity interest in the company. In 2020, the company acquired the content marketing team and services under the company formerly known as NewsCred to launch studioID, and has completed four other acquisitions.  The company has a new headquarters office in Washington, DC with additional locations in New York, London, and Dhaka, Bangladesh.

 

Give us a glimpse of your day-to-day schedule.

I read A LOT of news. I usually start scrolling Twitter accounts in the morning to see what’s breaking, what targeted reporters are covering or where our own media coverage might fit in or what might take over the news cycle completely. I triage email – I am an inbox zero devotee – and have weekly meetings with various departments throughout the company to keep tabs on what’s coming up. I look at media monitoring reports to see where our publications might have been picked up, work on messaging strategies for new product launches and field invitations sent to our reporters for speaking engagements or media interviews.

I am the first PR person the company has hired and I started in March 2020 – just as the pandemic unfolded. My day-to-day is never exactly the same and part of the fun is building the department, our process and how PR fits into the overall company ecosystem.

What advice do you have for anyone who wants to do what you’re doing?

PR is about the long game – it’s important to manage expectations and realize some of your success is tied to things that are way out of your control.

 

Is there anything else you want to share/promote/plug?

DiveWire, is Industry Dive’s press release or company announcement service. Via our online portal, clients can create a branded, customizable post to promote company news or announcements quickly and easily that will be shared with the same audience who reads our publications.

We listened to PR teams across our audience and learned that announcements sent via larger newswire services end up buried under other emails or posted across random Internet sites where the target audience may not come across the news. We also listened to our reporters, who are flooded with pitches and releases daily and many will never turn into a story. DiveWire adds another tool to the PR arsenal to get news or other messages out to the right audience.

Posting a press release does not influence if an Industry Dive reporter will cover your news, so this still leaves room for earned media outreach and coverage. But we can guarantee visibility to industry peers and thousands of readers who view the releases as they are posted.

 

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The parallels between a PR role for a client versus a news outlet are very similar. At the end of the day, it’s all about exposure and awareness surrounding a brand and news. For more information about newsrooms check out one of our latest blogs about how newsrooms are structured.

For more about the media, make sure to recap all of our blogs from this series starting with this post. And, make sure to follow OnePitch on Twitter and Instagram for more news and insights from the PR and media industry.

This blog was updated as of November 9, 2021.

Jered Martin

Jered is the co-founder, COO and support manager at OnePitch. He handles operations for OnePitch; along with strategy, support, business development and hiring. He studied Communications with an emphasis in marketing at Cal State University Long Beach. In his free time, he enjoys surfing, eating cheap street food, cooking, and exploring the outdoors.

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