Using "Non-Proprietary" Articles to your Advantage

There are lots of magazines that accept submitted case studies or short product news pieces, but there are only a few that will accept in-depth technical articles. Many of these magazines have a policy against using proprietary names in articles. This is also true in industry guidelines for continuing education, where the only permitted reference to your company or brand are in the title and final slides of a presentation..

Ironically, this policy actually increases the marketing value of the articles. By writing in an authoritative, non-proprietary voice, the article will be perceived by readers as having more value as a trustworthy source of news they can use.

Moreover, writing your article correctly creates brand equity for you. For example:
  • Author Credits: The author bios identify your company affiliation and can include your website and email address, making it easy for interested readers to contact you.

  • Creating Awareness: The first step in sales is to create awareness and interest. The article is intended to get designers thinking about the many benefits of your product. At the early stages of a project, it is most important that an architect know about the product category because they can always look up your name for specific information. More, one of the benefits of publicity is conditioning prospects so they are more responsive to other sales contacts or advertising.

  • Define Terms: By publishing the article, you get to establish the scope of the discussion. By discussing your points of differentiation you establish them as the baseline for comparison. The focus is on educating the customer to appreciate the benefits you offer.

  • Photo Credits: The projects cited and the photographs used will all be credited to your company. If you have a jobsite installation photo, there might be a banner in the background, or a package in the foreground, with the company name.

  • Online Content: The article can go onto your website and those of your reps, dealers, or applicators. You will be able to use it as part of your sales collateral.
  • Reuse: With a quick rewrite it can be sent around to other magazines as a press release. This maximizes the value of your investment.

  • Licensee Support: If the name of the game is winning licensees, then it is important to show the type of publicity you are getting for your existing licensees. The same is true for certified installers, distributors, and others in your market stream. List them as co-authors, and feature their projects.
In short, anyone reading the article will be lead to think about your products and will have no trouble finding you when they are ready to move forward.