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Top tips for feature coverage success

winning-1529402_640I came across a debate recently with a PR voicing her opinion on the lack of forward features being advertised on sites such as Gorkana and Features Exec. Yes, it’s true, publications rarely plan their features for the entire year, but this is merely a sign of the times. The nature of online media means that features are becoming more and more news-led, so publications no longer publish long-lead editorial lists. PRs, nevertheless, should not be defeated in their quest for coverage. Features are an excellent way for clients to take part in industry debate and appear as thought leaders.  Some of Spark’s best results recently have come from features contributions in the likes of The Times, The Telegraph and the Financial Times. Uncovering the opportunity and making sure that your client’s contribution is both relevant and thought provoking takes time, but the end result always make it worthwhile.

Here are three top tips to help you bring the coverage home:

  1. Don’t rely on existing feature lists. Even if a publication has a list of upcoming features, PRs should not treat this as gospel and should always check with editorial teams before factoring the opportunity into future plans. Features mirror hot topics within the industry, and the technology sector moves especially quick; therefore planned features can change just as quickly. Do your homework!
  1. Maintain good relationships. It probably goes without saying that maintaining a good relationship with the press is essential in PR. Journalists can give you the inside scoop as to what they are most interested in and let you know what opportunities they have coming up. So when the time comes you’re already in know which will go a long way when trying to impress your client.
  1. Be pro-active. PR isn’t rocket science and one way to master it quickly is to keep your finger on the industry’s pulse. Instead of the journalist coming up with the ideas, why don’t you approach the journalist and pitch a potential feature angle? Journalists are very busy people, so would probably be thankful for your ideas. Also by doing so, the journalist will know what your clients can talk about so may come back to you in the future.
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What have Brexit, Donald Trump and Pokémon Go got in common?

Unless you have been living in a cave for the last six weeks, it’s been almost impossible to avoid the news, with every other news story being about Brexit, Donald Trump and er ….Pokémon Go.  From a PR perspective, all three have been interesting to observe even if the results have been mixed, to say the least!


Brexit – While the Leave campaign won the PR battle when it came to votes, ever since 23 June the whole issue of Brexit has become a PR minefield akin to an episode of the Thick of IT. We’ve had political backstabbing, backtracking, gaffes and more than a month on there are still more questions than answers.

Donald Trump – Love him or loathe him Donald Trump is a publicity machine, whether it is his tweets or latest unfortunate comment. In many respects, he is the personification of style over substance and is a great case study of the dangers of an out of control spokesperson.

Pokémon Go – No we haven’t stepped back in time, Pokémon is back and is taking the world by storm. It is certainly difficult to remember a game or app that has garnered so much media attention in recent times.  It is not to say that all the publicity has been positive as there have a lot of column inches devoted to service outages and Pokémon Go related crime amongst other things.

What the above does show is that being able to get your message (positive or in the case of Donald Trump, negative) in front of target audiences, tell a good story and subsequent ability to answer difficult questions remains key to the long-term success of any PR campaign.  If 2016 has taught us anything – expect the unexpected!

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Coverage Cup round up – Sunshine edition!

Coverage cupWhile making the most of Britain’s long-awaited summer, Spark has been busy achieving some great media coverage on behalf of our clients. First off, Elsevier’s thoughts on how digital technology can help engineers to be more collaborative appeared in The Engineer.  The 3CX team secured coverage in Channelnomics after CEO Nick Galea was interviewed regarding the company’s plans for European expansion. Elsewhere, Global Banking & Finance Review published a profile on GMC Software which outlined its capabilities and how companies can achieve excellent customer experience in three steps. Finally, the Trustmarque team hit the phones and secured news hijacking coverage in V3, Business Cloud News and Cloud Tech after Gartner predicted that cloud spending could reach $1tn by 2020 – the resulting coverage firmly positioned Trustmarque as a thought leader on the subject.

As you can see, a busy week was had by all! Now, where’s my sun cream?

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Coverage Cup round up

Coverage cupWith the Olympics fast approaching, Spark has helped secure some golden pieces of coverage over the last couple of weeks.  Quick off the starting blocks, Venafi and IOActive secured comment in a Financial Times’ feature on women in security. The Venafi team maintained its strong start by quickly responding to the EU’s pledge of €1.8bn for cybersecurity – an effort rewarded with coverage in both the Independent and New Statesman. Meanwhile, HCL’s Rahul Singh led the pack by featuring prominently in a Telegraph feature looking at blockchain. Bringing the baton home, the Trustmarque team secured comment in a Times’ feature on legal technology.

A full list of Coverage Cup nominations can be found below:


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Coverage Cup round up: Euro 2016 edition

Coverage cupWith Euro 2016 well underway, Spark continued to score some great client coverage. To kick off, the JDA and Centiro teams recorded fantastic results with Customer Pulse 2016 Report, securing coverage in The TimesForbes, Business Reporter, Business Insider and Internet Retailing amongst of others. The Elsevier team remain in a strong position after doing the double with R&D Magazine and Manufacturing Global.  Trace One made the most of quick delivery (of Brexit comment) to clinch a result in Packaging News. Finally, HCL sealed an injury time winner in IoT Global Network for a by-lined article discussing security in the IoT revolution.

A full list of coverage cup nominations can be found below:


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