As PR and content professionals it is our main day-to-day to create content that is relevant not only to our client’s brand but also looking into hot topics that don’t bore audiences and ensuring that journalists receive all the help and assistance they can get to pull together an interesting article.
With journalists covering various topics and receiving millions of emails within a day, it can drive any journalist completely mad to receive a story they’ve already covered or even worse – a story without any relevance or visible hooks.
In order to achieve this, PR professionals need to stay up-to-date with the latest topics and headlines to work into their stories.
Below are three ways that you can stay on the ball with your hooks and a few tools to help you along the way, to get the best results for your client and campaigns.
Upcoming Events and Important Dates
While your content might be research heavy, solid and insightful, it’s always important to ensure that you have explored all the avenues and investigated how far you can outreach it.
At Kaizen we like to incorporate events and important dates from the beginning of our content creation stage, in order to create news-worthy pieces that would not only interest journalists but the public as well.
Tools that are perfect to use amongst your colleagues are Google Calendars or Google Sheets. Google programs are tools that I feel are really underestimated by many professionals today, as they allow for easy collaborative input across the board, whether you’re working on pitch presentations or just sharing press releases with the team.
Having an easy to share calendar allows you to highlight all the important dates, from film releases to sporting events, and share with the rest of your team to include in all ideations and outreach strategies going forward.
By highlighting these important dates before, it allows you to be able to analyse the timeframe of your content and give it even more relevance to the target audience.
Everyone’s Talking About It…
Staying up-to-date with current articles is also another secret weapon to any PR professional, which does require a little more homework before you start outreaching.
While journalists may not be interested in covering the same story twice, its still beneficial to see what is currently a hot topic and how they are covering these pieces – allowing you to see your content from a different perspective.
When I’m looking to start outreaching a new study or research, I find it quite handy to search for any similar pieces of coverage or stories. First I would look for the source of the coverage through a Google search and then by using tools such as Ahrefs and Buzzsumo, as mentioned in the previous blog post, to discover any additional backlinks or coverage.
When looking at the previous coverage it would also highlight the approaches that were taken and niches that covered the pieces. The aim of this is not to do a similar pitch to the same journalists but rather see how they have previously covered a similar story that might appeal to different journalists, in ways we might not have picked up on.
It also might open other niches that you never realised were applicable to your content, allowing you to angle your outreach assets to your findings, whether it’s creating different press releases to adapt to each individual angle or even getting clients to provide their own quotes or reactions to real-time stories and news to add more support to your content and pitch.
Keeping Your Competition Close
It is also a very important step to understand your client’s direct competitors and what they are creating, especially the different forms of content, whether it be surveys, interactives, infographics or studies.
With similar niches in common, it would be careless to not keep up to date with successful and unsuccessful content from your competitors as a learning curve and understanding your industry.
A tool that can help keep you up to date with competitors is Google Alerts, as well as also backlinking campaigns, as previously mentioned. These tools bring to your attention the coverage that appeals to your common audience, while it would also break through new niches that have been successful for your competitors, that may not be known to your client and their past campaigns.
Just by following these three simple steps, you will be able to build a solid foundation for not only your content’s concept but also your outreach assets too, whether it’s your press releases, email pitches or prospects – allowing you to gain the most optimal results for your campaigns.
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