Effective PR or media outreach is all about relationships, whether it maintains existing connections or reaching out and making new ones to grow a company’s network. Public relations is one of the many proven ways for organizations to connect with media outlets and their target audience. While PR has moved towards the digital stage more than traditional PR, the purpose is still to get more exposure and raise awareness about a company’s products and services.
In this article, we will look at:
- What is PR/media outreach?
- Tips to maximize media outreach
- PR/media outreach templates/ideas
What is PR/media outreach?
By definition, PR/media outreach is how companies pitch information about their brand, product, and services to media outlets to get press coverage and exposure in their target industry. Ideally, the process should build a mutually beneficial relationship with media outlets to get an effective response to the pitch. Before that, companies should also start identifying specific media outlets that write about their niche and might be interested in helping them. Companies can continue with the media outreach efforts by getting backlinks from webmasters, guest posting on high-authority industry blogs, and getting media outlets to mention them in an article.
While in the past, this type of outreach meant getting media attention through traditional media outlets like television, newspaper, or the radio. PR attention has expanded to the internet through blogs, social networking sites, and other digital media outlets. The benefits of PR/media outreach are significant because media outlets and influencers can provide valuable reach and credibility that a company may not achieve without them. SEO and linking building purposes are also parts of PR outreach that help a company establish its target market authority. Businesses also need to understand the importance of media relations and how they help build a positive company image. With media outreach being pitching to media outlets, media relations is the relationship-building process with journalists, bloggers, and influencers.
Many companies and individuals tend to forget that to receive media attention. It does heavily rely on the relationships formed. There is no point in having a business if no one knows about it. They need to understand that they cannot merely pitch to media outlets that do not know about them or care and expect to get press coverage or a mention.
Different types of PR outreach provide other objectives. They require a significantly different process, which is why companies need to create an effective PR/media outreach campaign that defines their goals and objectives before trying to connect their media outreach and maximize it.
Tips for successful PR/media outreach
Companies can understand the idea of a PR/media outlet. However, it is an entirely different situation when creating an effective PR/media outreach campaign.
Let us look at a few tips for successful PR/media outreach.
1) Know your audience and build a specific media list
Before trying to do any media outreach, it is essential to know what media outlets companies plan to target. Reading past articles and blogs written by journalists about their subject enables them to be familiar with their content and writing style. It also helps them prepare content that the journalist will write about and be interested in and be sure that the information and story provided is a good fit before reaching out. Engaging in media monitoring helps companies find journalists, bloggers, and influencers writing or showcasing those subjects and monitoring for terms and keywords related to their industry and checking out the competition.
Once they have done their research, they should start building their media list to pitch the right story to the right individual, which will result in a higher percentage of getting press coverage and developing their credibility with critical media outlets. To have a media list that works, companies need to; define the content they are pitching, develop unique angles, decide the timing, search by publication and writer, and focus on correct designations. They need to be clear on what type of content they are trying to pitch and what their outreach will look like, create different angles for their content so that it becomes relevant to each journalist and their audience, and figure out whether their pitch is only applicable during a specific time frame whether they intend to provide “evergreen stories.”
After that, they need to search and add to their media list by publication and writer. However, this process can be quite time-consuming, and they may not find their relevant media outlets. For that reason, they can hire PR professionals like Pressfarm that already have a media database with over 75,000 media outlets, to begin building their list. In addition to creating PR content, Pressfarm also works with companies to build their list to stress searching each publication or blog to find relevant writers who write on specific topics and keywords.
2) Create media pitch and excellent subject line
A media pitch is essentially the first impression that companies put out to the world about their business, products, and services. It is a way to get prospective journalists and bloggers interested in learning more about them. It should outline the story in a manner that is relevant to a journalist and their audience. Because of the influx of constant pitches that flood a media outlets’ email, companies need to clear a clear yet concise pitch and communicate all the newsworthy elements that should be presented.
What sets a media pitch apart from others is having an attention-grabbing subject line. It can also be considered as the “narrative hook” that draws a reader into the content. A subject line that piques interest and is personalized to the individual media outlet can determine whether the pitch is opened and read.
3) Develop strong relationships
Since PR/media outreach is based firmly on the relationships developed between a company and media outlets, it is imperative that even before pitching a business, they need to create a connection first. Establishing a personal connection does not mean attempting to woo journalists to create content, but understanding them and following their previous works is a step up. According to a study, most journalists agree that having a personal connection is very important because they would much rather connect with someone familiar who has commented on their social media posts, shared their part articles, and have communicated with them in the past.
An important thing to remember is that journalists also prefer to be pitched through email because it makes communication easy to track. Since it is already a default work communication channel, it shows them when they take the time to email them. They show commitment to the story and the relationship that they are trying to develop.
Media outlets can also be considered as the gateway for companies to connect with their target audience. However, they also care very deeply about the content they are putting out, and they have more freedom when it comes to topic selection. So, rather than being looked at as just a means to get information out, they want to know that their content will benefit the company and themselves. They would much instead create organic content than being provided with a complete story to spin on it.
PR/media outreach templates/ideas
While PR outreach does not follow a specific format, there are a few guidelines on creating pitches that can help in certain situations.
1) The spelling mistake email
For someone that is not in the writing industry, this email may seem to come off as slightly condescending. However, journalists do appreciate it when someone points out their mistakes to improve for future writing. It is also a great way to begin a relationship by offering suggestions and ideas. However, remember that this email is meant to help the journalist, not critique them. By mentioning details from a previous article, it makes a company look like they are legitimate readers of the article.
2) The “helpful article” email
There is always something new to learn every day. There is also an excellent chance that even though they may have written an in-depth article about a particular topic, the journalist is probably interested and willing to learn more about it. Creating this type of email focuses on sharing relevant content with the targeted journalist and helps a company establish its authority in its field. Remember only to share useful information that is genuinely useful and interesting because, at this point, the email is only meant to break the ice.
3) The “followed your advice” email
One thing that journalists appreciate is when their content helps people. When companies begin their pitch with something that a journalist or blogger has previously written about and has gotten good results from, it shows that their writing has had an actual impact. By telling the writer exactly what effect their advice had on their lives and their business, companies will have a specific relationship with their target journalist.
PR/media outreach has proven to work for all kinds of businesses that want to acquire media attention. However, journalists have likely seen every type of pitch that exists, so it is more complicated than it used to be. Media outlets and professionals are always looking for new and exciting content, but done correctly and uniquely. Having the perfect pitch is just one step to the whole process; it needs to be followed up with outreach efforts that stand out from the competition. While businesses can still implement the old-fashioned method of looking for media outlets, it can be very stressful and time-consuming, which is why PR agencies like Pressfarm exist so that companies can focus on other aspects of their business. PR/media outreach has now become an essential part of any company’s outreach campaign.