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Share Your Supply Chain Knowledge

Writing in established technology media is one of the most cost-effective ways for supply chain companies to create awareness and credibility.

The really good news is that you don't have to be a giant distributor to get stories published. What's essential is developing a brand-agnostic story that truly informs target readers about what's new or important in the electronics supply sector. That's not difficult, but it's not simple, either.

The author needs to have something valuable to say to technology pros. This is not about promoting your company, and it's not a task to hand off to a PR agency or assistant. That's your name on the article. You need to own it. Never, ever copy a word from another article without carefully attributing it and linking to the original. And never quote more than is necessary.

Think like your customers do. What are their design or manufacturing interests? Can you speak authoritatively on a particular point that would interest them? You're teaching with a purpose.

A good takeoff point is thinking about how to do something more productively. The electronic engineering and manufacturing community is constantly searching for ways to improve skills, as well as knowledge of new tools and techniques.

The value of working with established media outlets is simple. The story gains far more audience credibility than it would if you published it on your own, like just another whitepaper. Plus, more people tend to read those publications than would likely read your website.

One-trick pony
Before approaching an editor, ask yourself if you want to write a single essay or contribute regularly. Then start your queries by reaching out to editors personally and explaining your background and interest.

How can you share your knowledge without becoming promotional? Act like the expert you are. In some cases, you might be able to use the information elsewhere (whitepapers or presentations). But check with the publication about its rules. Submitting the same story to two competing publications is a certain way of ending your relationship with one or both editors.

After the article is published, you can link your site to the published article and promote it via email newsletters and/or social media channels. Promoting your article after publication is often a huge missed opportunity.

What story ideas do you have that members of the electronics supply chain community would enjoy reading?

23 comments on “Share Your Supply Chain Knowledge

  1. elctrnx_lyf
    July 19, 2013

    I do agree the electronic waste management becomes a much bigger problem in future than the actual electronic product development or manufacturing. I believe specific country governments also should start more initiatives in this regard.

  2. _hm
    July 19, 2013

    What you mentioned is very appropriate. However, one needs to put in real hard work to make that type of contribution. For initial years, efforts are demanding. However, once it is in motion, one may be able to contribute regulalary as you have outlined.

     

  3. ahdand
    July 19, 2013

    @_HM: Yes very true. Hard work was required in the past to make it to go further and it still needs hard work in order to maintain the flow and the requirements that might come in the future.     

  4. SunitaT
    July 20, 2013

    In order to write for a technology driven global community, the writer must know
    that what he preaches by heart. He must know the technology like the
    back of his hand. More often than not writers only have the basic
    knowledge on how the technology works, but this does not encourage the
    readers to explore the technology, instead, they revert to using what
    they know best and what they trust best.

  5. Ford Kanzler
    July 20, 2013

    Thank you for your comment. Suggest sometimes (often) when a technologist knows something intimately, they are unable to describe what they know in terms others who are not their peers or in the same specialty can understand. Very often engineering people want to write about how something works, its features or how it was created rather than how it changes things for the user or customer (benefits). For this reason, haveing engineers soley writing customer-facing techical content can be disasterous. Teamwork between well-trained writers (which engineers often are not) who have a reasonable degree of subject familiarity and the technical content experts is the most effective means to creating content for a technical community. In many cases varying levels of information are necessary to satisfying a range of interests. Everyone doesn't need or want the story in excruciating detail.

  6. SunitaT
    July 21, 2013

    @_hm, Hard work isn't the only thing that is required for making a contribution to the growing markets. Experience is as valuable as information. The electronics supply chain system benefits from a market with a high demand for its products among its customers, and the ability to act on and provide uninterrupted and unparalled service is very crucial to build a leading rank in a market, which can only be brought about by people with an experience of the specific market.

  7. SunitaT
    July 21, 2013

    @electrnx_lyf, Yes, very true. High tech products are not without its faults, but
    manufacturers are slowly switching to more eco-friendly products, which when discarded can easily be incinerated. However the raw materials for making eco friendly products don't come cheap and govenment needs to subsidize them.

  8. Ashu001
    July 22, 2013

    Tirlapur,

    Manufacturers need to focus more on Modularized Parts here(which can easily be removed if they fail) and then be easily recycled as well.

    I see very little(if any traction) in this area.

    You should see how time and effort(in addition to all the Health Hazards involved) for anyone who has to actually recycle this phones today to extract recyclable materials-Gold,Silver,Platinum,Steel,Aluminium,etc from them.

    As for Government Subsidizing this stuff.

    Look at the Balance Sheets of Corporations who make this products today and compare them with the Balance Sheets of Global Governments.

    Who is in Better state today?

    The Answer becomes obvious then.

    None of these companies are even paying full Taxes on all the Profits they make(primarily through extremely efficent use of Tax Shelters like the       Double Irish and Dutch Tax Shelters);and you want to hand-over more Taxpayer Cash to them?

    Bad Answer.

    Regards

    Ashish.

     

  9. Hailey Lynne McKeefry
    July 22, 2013

    I'd be intersested in hearing about trusted sources… As the lines between marketing, PR and editorial blur, it does get harder to figure out with a quick glance what sort of bias a resource might contain. How do you get your industry information? Are suppliers/distributors a trustred source? Or news outlets? Or some combination? How do you judget the quality of the information you are getting?

  10. Ford Kanzler
    July 22, 2013

    Your question is worthy of serious consideration at some point. Perhaps not here. There's been lots written about the topic of Journalistic ethics recently. Given both traditional media outlets' shriinkage and in some cases compromising of classic Amerian Journalistic practices, obviously tech brands are diving into content development to fill the void. Is it worthy of readers' trust? Can it be expected to be unbiased? Not likely in most cases.

    I'd offer wise and highly strategic brands could practice business communications by offering accurate, fair content. Consistently done, their stellar reputations, as with any publisher, would become established and flourish. Is fair, accurate, unbiased content being produced by most marketers? Certainly not! But it could happen. 🙂

    As with anything you consume and perhaps even more now with information blasted out instantly over the Web, buyer beware! A reputation for trusted content should be earned over time, certainly not immediately taken for granted.

  11. Daniel
    July 23, 2013

    'Writing in established technology media is one of the most cost-effective ways for supply chain companies to create awareness and credibility. The really good news is that you don't have to be a giant distributor to get stories published. What's essential is developing a brand-agnostic story that truly informs target readers about what's new or important in the electronics supply sector'

    Ford, you are right, e news and e-medias are the easiest way to grab customer attention. But the real issue is about the content of such articles. If the content is not interesting or innovative, people's wont spent time even to read such article.

  12. Daniel
    July 23, 2013

    Hailey, trusted source….. In technology, the inventor or invented company or the technology provider are the only trusted sources. When third parties are build up a device over such technology, then they can bias it.

  13. Ford Kanzler
    July 23, 2013

    Can anyone think of LESS than a dozen tech companies who haven't been accurate in the info they've issued? I'd suggest quite the opposie. Often when products get into distribution is when the bugs are exposed and hopefully shaken out. The rush to market or other perhaps darker reasons can conspire to making the techology provider's information inaccurate. Just because they invented an item doesn't make them trusted.

  14. Houngbo_Hospice
    July 23, 2013

    @Jacob- I think the choice of your publisher is very (also) important, because you want your article to be posted where your customers will likely read them.

  15. Houngbo_Hospice
    July 23, 2013

    @Ford, Well established publishers might be the ideal choice. But what do you do if no such publishers are willing to post your articles on their sites? Won't it be easier to publish them on your company's blog?

  16. Ford Kanzler
    July 23, 2013

    Everyone and every business can certainly self-publish. If you've got a web site, you're in the publishing business! However, if you can't interest an editor at an established publication to accept your story ideas, you ought to be looking at what you're pitching to them. This isn't rocket science. It takes a clear understanding of what the publication finds interesting to its readers, not what's important to you or your marketing department. Both of those may be served by contributed editorial content, but the editor is in the driver's seat. Get it right with them first. Suggestions :Be informative and brand-agnostic (non-promotional). Have fresh ideas. Demonstrate particular expertise of value to the publcations' readers. Discuss a relevant controversial subject with strong support for your point of vew. DO NOT attempt to simply promote your product or brand. You'll get shot down nearly every time.

    Also don't pitch a completed article fait acompli. Editors desire full-custom content. Pitch the idea first, gain agreement using a short synopsis, then write the story as agreed and by deadline. DO NOT attempt to pitch an identical idea to multiple, competing publications' editors. You'll get away with that just once. After that you will be perminently rejected. Editors read their competitors' publications. You can revise, edit and and expand on a story idea and, if its different enough, get it accepted by multiple, competing publications. This is frankly all PR-1A. Perhaps competent, professional tech PR help is needed to get your stories published.

    Contrastingly, self-publishing your content is popular because, as mentioned, anyone can do it and you have editorial control. The downside is that your web site and its content will be viewed by a very small fraction of the number of people who visit established publications' sites. Additionally, well-known publications have created a far stronger journalistic reputation with readers than very few if any corporate web sites can ever hope to achieve. They've earned audience trust

    I recommend my clients first take their best ideas to traditional media outlets as potential contributions for far greater audience reach and percieved credibility. Other ideas may be worth self-publishing. For more on this go to:

    http://www.marketingprofs.com/articles/2010/3615/establish-credibility-and-persuade-customers-via-contributed-articles

    (or)

    http://ceo-info.com/2010/04/22/how-to-write-pitch-and-place-bylined-articles/

     

  17. ahdand
    July 24, 2013

    @Hospice: Indeed since then only the information flow will work as expected. If not then the whole purpose of having the article written is lost. Targeting the desired audience is very essential.

  18. Houngbo_Hospice
    July 24, 2013

    @Ford, Well said and thanks for the valuable edvice. “Develop an expertise first before you can start publishing” – Very true!

  19. Ford Kanzler
    July 25, 2013

    An approach that can help overcome obstacles is teaming with another organization or brand where your interests, including target media, are the same. Of course cooperation is inherent but if one brand is short on expertise or ideas, sometimes the other can bring that. If external PR or writing talent are required to execute the project, both companies can fund that investment. Additionally, a topic proposed to an editor has less chance of being seen as overtly promotional. The two brand's combined expertise around a topic will likely also be percieved as more valuable by readers. The main trick is working well with your partnered brand. Other promotional tactics may be jointly accomplished the same way if there's a willingness to share in effort and results and not let egos get in the way.

  20. Daniel
    July 27, 2013

    “Can anyone think of LESS than a dozen tech companies who haven't been accurate in the info they've issued?”

    Ford, thats a new news about inaccurate or inappropriate information. i think, its the responsibility of document or content writer to make sure that the datas are correct in all the sence

  21. Daniel
    July 27, 2013

    “I think the choice of your publisher is very (also) important, because you want your article to be posted where your customers will likely read them.”

    HH, you are right. the content should be well organized and appropriate with repect to the context

  22. Ford Kanzler
    July 31, 2013

    Both the content author and the publication's editor want informaiton appropriate to the audience or readership. If you don't know who reads a publication, most of them have a “media kit” typically created for advertisers, explaining this. It should be available online and is worth reading before you approach an editor with a story. Its a good starting point and should prevent wasted time chasing inappropriate publications.

  23. Daniel
    July 31, 2013

    “Both the content author and the publication's editor want informaiton appropriate to the audience or readership.”

    Ford, you are right. That's the reason, another round of editing and content reading happen at editorial desk.

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