Throughout the content marketing industry, there are various different angles that PR professionals can utilise when setting up their outreach strategy. While many agencies might have their own rulebook on outreach, there is definitely a thread of techniques that have proved to be successful across the board.
As previously mentioned in my latest blog post on press releases, it was clear that journalists lack the time to go through each individual pitch as we imagine they would, leaving PR’s needing to ensure that their pitches and releases stand out from the masses. As this is never easy, here are a few of the trends that can help your outreach strategy succeed in an overwhelming and overcrowded environment:
First and foremost, ensure that all niches and themes are fully fleshed out before your campaign is live, allowing you to know exactly which routes to angle pitches and press releases.
When angling your pitch to journalists, it’s always stronger to approach different niches with different styles that would appeal to them.
In a recent study reported by Everbrite in May this year, it was stated that users had strongly responded to email marketing due to personalisation. This can be transferred to email pitching too as the same reason and rhyme apply – address your recipient’s needs and interests from the very beginning and avoid being dragged into the dreaded spam or unsubscribe folder.
Whether this is in the tone used, facts included or even creating individual openings to your pitches, make sure it’s something that they would be interested in reading further and actually applies to them.
While the more conventional pitching approach may be via email, there are other platforms that some journalists might prefer – especially when it comes to different types of niches and content. Almost any journalist you find will have a twitter profile, displaying their thoughts and examples of recent work. Twitter could be a new way to pitch or even follow up on an email pitch that may be less chaotic than trying to reach the top of their inbox or hassling them over the phone. Executive Thought-leadership Whilst many may just relate to this as just another ridiculous “buzzword”, there does tend to be some method to this madness. Establishing yourself within your industry and field is definitely a helpful tool that may
Almost any journalist you find will have a twitter profile, displaying their thoughts and examples of recent work. Twitter could be a new way to pitch or even follow up on an email pitch that may be less chaotic than trying to reach the top of their inbox or hassling them over the phone.
Whilst many may just relate to this as just another ridiculous “buzzword”, there does tend to be some method to this madness. Establishing yourself within your industry and field is definitely a helpful tool that may assist you in the future. Showing genuine interest and developing discussions on relevant topics helps you to build a profile within your industry, gain the necessary attention and prove to your audience, whether it be journalists or not, that you are knowledgeable in these specific niches. You can build a profile through blog posts, publishing articles and even creating discussions over social media channels. Once you have built a library of pieces, this opens many more platforms such as various contributor sites that will be willing to consider your content for guest posts.
Organising your tools
It is often said that “a man is only as good as his tools” and in digital PR that is most definitely true. The tools you utilise are often your best instruments and in order to ensure success, these tools need to be up-to-date and organised. Whether you use a database like Cision or Gorkana or build your own using tools such as Buzzstream, you need to ensure that each program clearly lists and updates journalists’ information with examples of their published articles and past correspondence, as well as including the general information such as location and themes. When your databases are correctly organised, it makes outreach much simpler and more successful, allowing you to engage with the journalists using all the knowledge you have and avoid spamming them with topics they may not interest them or write on.
While digital PR may not be an exact science and some of the methods do apply to different environments, it’s never a bad thing to keep developing and testing the simplest of tactics. So whether you’ve been in the industry for awhile or starting out fresh, these tips are just a few general ways to not only improve your outreach success but can make yourself a strong and trusted figure within the industry.
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Robin L. Newnham
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