The science of media - So What


01/14/2022 | Richard Whitworth

So What


The grammatically astute among you may be asking: “Where’s the question mark?” Jazz fans will likely start humming the Miles Davis composition (for those who are unfamiliar: step into my time machine).


I’ve intentionally removed the accusatory question mark to soften the blow. But – now we’re better acquainted:


So what? 


My prediction (or at least hope) is that this two-word question will serve you well in any future quest to attract the attention of editors or journalists.


By preempting a silent “So what?” – a question that probably pops up in the minds of those outside your marketing circle more often than you think – you will have gained access to a new super power.


By answering that short question in your own head, you’ll find yourself increasingly passionate about adding a genuine twist to your press release, finding a red thread to connect your customer stories, or highlighting the important mission that sparked a collaboration.


Crucially, you’ll have a story rather than “news” or information.


Stories do not need to be long, but they do need to be authentic; a good editor and engaged reader will both see through corporate jargon and pretension.


What if there is no story? I’ve worked with many companies over the last decade or so, and there is always a story. You just have to (want to) set it free. If there is truly no story, you may need to ask yourself why there is a press release... 


Here’s a secret: you don’t even need to write the full story when working with a (good) media company, you just need to share the crux. If it’s a good story, we’ll be more than happy to do the rest.

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Top tips from the Texere content team


I asked Texere’s content team what advice they would give to marketing and PR professionals who want to secure coverage. Here’s what they said:


1. Exercise your creative freedom

“My top advice: PR/marketing people need to come forward with ideas – preferably those that demonstrate some understanding of my brand and magazine. For ‘We are interested in submitting an article discussing the pros and cons of X technology – we think this could be suitable for your In My View [opinion] section.’”


“Some companies tell me they can write on any topic I want them to. That’s great – but I’d like them to come forward with ideas as a starting point rather than expecting an editor to do all their thinking for them...”


“I would like marketing and PR professionals to be more creative. Why not offer an opinion letter, a short article, or even an exclusive audio or video clip?”


2. Connect us to interesting people

“Give me access to an expert with interesting views and we’re halfway there.”


“If I’m connected to someone passionate about a topic – an expert who can really bring it alive, you’ve pretty much guaranteed an article!”


3. Consider the bigger picture (and the value of indirect marketing)

“Remember to talk about a technology in general or a particular user’s experience – don't just focus on a single product.”


“It's hard for us to find space for what is essentially a sales pitch...”


4. Deliver on your promise

“It can be disappointing to embark on a journey and not get to the destination. If I share a draft article but don't hear anything for months, I’ll think twice about the next pitch...”


5. Focus on “the hook”

“I love it when an article starts to write itself in my mind before I’ve even finished reading the email about the idea.”


“It’s not hard to stand out from the crowd – just share a good story!”


What readers want


Ultimately, content teams exist to serve their reader communities with useful, interesting, informative, or even entertaining material. Anything you can do to help us in this mission is always appreciated; we'll work hard to ensure the end result makes us all proud. 


And so, if you’ve got a good idea, a great contact, or fascinating story to share, click on the appropriate brand below, drop the editor an email, and start a conversation.


Perhaps you’d like to chat about your approach to content or offer counterpoints to the thoughts above – I’d be delighted to hear from you; just drop me an email.


Finally, if “So what?” seems harsh, I apologise. But it’s nothing compared with what I ask myself when I receive a press release that is churned out with little-to-no thought:


“Who the hell cares?”

Richard Whitworth

Content Director

Richard Whitworth

Content Director

I completed my studies in medical biochemistry in 1998. To cut a long story very short, I escaped to Tokyo and spent five years working for the largest English language publisher in Japan. Carving a career (and simply surviving) in the megalopolis that is Tokyo changed my outlook forever. Back in the UK, I combined an aptitude for words with a fascination for science. I joined Texere on day one in 2012, where I initially spearheaded the launch of The Analytical Scientist. Today, I am proud to have the responsibility of ensuring quality and style of all content across all brands within Texere’s portfolio.