How to be successful doing trade and tech PR in Germany
Made in Germany is still a quality seal in the industrial sector around the globe. As a “country of engineers”, Germany hosts many of the largest MOEMs and electrical engineering companies in the world. This is reflected in the trade media landscape which is extremely diverse and features a large number of specialised magazines for almost every industry imaginable. The economic power of the industrial automation industry leads to high advertising prices on the one hand and, due to strong publishing houses, to a significant proportion of editorial content in the trade magazines on the other. This means, you still can get your topics into the magazines if you have an interesting story to tell and if you know how to tell it. But in the long run, publishers will ask for funding too.
Stand out from the crowd
The huge competition for attention means there is a need to build close, personal relationships with the media outlets and influencers that are most important to you. You can easily buy contacts, but it needs a lot more to make these productive. The fact that Germany is a decentralised territorial state makes networking with editors quite challenging. Companies situated in the south of Germany, especially those in the Munich area, have the best starting position as most relevant publishing houses can be found in this area, too. Other than that, big trade shows like Hannover Messe or SPS IPC Drives are the best opportunities to meet up with key editors.
Where to get your media contacts
There are several big media database providers in Germany (e.g. Zimpel or Cision/Gorkana). Each of them has its assets and drawbacks. We use one such major provider but invest a lot of extra work into keeping our various distribution lists up to date and customising them for the individual client and purpose. For our core markets, there is no database or distribution service in Germany which can keep up with our market knowledge and relationships.
Germans prefer their content factual and long
In terms of writing style, detail-oriented German engineers tend to like articles focussing mainly on technical features. 8.000 character articles are the norm. While being quite reluctant in the use of Social Media compared to other European countries, they still love their print magazines with almost no images and articles full of formulas. This is changing though due to the inbound marketing trend and digitisation that slowly reaches the German “Mittelstand”. With data driven marketing approaches gaining more and more importance, we see a clear, inevitable shift from print to easy to measure online content and significant investment in strategic social media and video.
Author: Mark Herten, Account Director, Technical Publicity UG