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 shifted closer to the digital realm than traditional PR, the purpose is still to get more exposure and raise awareness about a company’s products and services.
What is media outreach?
By definition, 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, you should also start identifying specific media outlets that write about your niche and might be interested in helping you.
In the past, this type of outreach meant getting media attention through traditional media outlets like television, newspaper, or the radio. Today, PR attention has expanded to the internet through blogs, social networking sites, and other digital media outlets.
SEO and linking building are also components of PR outreach that can help your company establish its target market authority. You also need to understand the importance of media relations and how it can help you build a positive company image. While the main part of media outreach is pitching to media outlets, media relations is the relationship-building process with journalists, bloggers, and influencers.
Many brands forget that whether you receive media attention or not depends on the relationships you’ve built. There is no point in having a business if no one knows about it. You need to understand that you cannot merely pitch to media outlets that do not already know about you and expect to get press coverage or a mention.
Different types of PR outreach meet other objectives. They require a significantly different process, which is why you need to create an effective media outreach campaign that defines your goals and objectives before trying to connect your media outreach and maximize it.
Tips for successful media outreach
The concept of pitching a media outlet is easy to understand. However, creating an effective media outreach campaign is a whole other process in itself.
Let us look at a few tips for successful 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 you plan to target. Reading past articles and blogs written by journalists about your niche is a good way to get familiar with their content and writing style. It also helps you prepare content that the journalist will be interested in. Engaging in media monitoring can help you find journalists, bloggers, and influencers who write about subjects which you are an expert in. Media monitoring can also help you monitor for terms and keywords related to your industry and check out the competition.
How to build a media list
Once you have done your research, you should start building your media list so that you can pitch the right story to the right people. Working with a media list will result in higher chances of getting press coverage and developing credibility with critical media outlets. In order to build a media list that works, you need to; define the content you are pitching, develop unique angles, decide the timing, search by publication and writer, and focus on correct designations.
You also need to be clear on what type of content you are trying to pitch and what your outreach will look like, create different angles for your content so that it becomes relevant to each journalist and their audience, and figure out whether your pitch is only applicable during a specific time frame or whether you intend to provide “evergreen stories.”
After that, you need to search and add to your media list by publication and writer. However, this process can be quite time-consuming, and you may have a hard time finding relevant media outlets. In this case, you can hire PR services from an agency like Pressfarm, which already has a media database of over 1 million journalists across industries.
In addition to offering access to a comprehensive media database, Pressfarm can create quality content for your brand, such as press releases, email pitches, guest posts and creative media kits. Beyond that, the experts at Pressfarm can help you distribute this content to put it in front of the right eyes. With a PR package from Pressfarm, you can generate the publicity your brand deserves.
2) Create a media pitch and excellent subject line
A media pitch is essentially the first impression that you put out to the world about your business, products, and services. It is a way to get prospective journalists and bloggers interested in learning more about you. The ideal pitch should outline your story in a manner that is relevant to a journalist and their audience. In order for your pitch to stand out in a journalist’s overflowing inbox, you need to clear a clear yet concise pitch that communicates all the newsworthy elements.
One thing that sets a media pitch apart from others is an attention-grabbing subject line. Your subject line can also be considered 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 increase the chances of your email being opened.
3) Develop strong relationships
Since media outreach is based firmly on the relationships you build with journalists, it is imperative that you make an effort to connect with your target journalists before it’s time to send your pitch. Establishing a personal connection does not necessarily mean you have to woo journalists to create content. Getting to know them and reading their previous works is a good place to start. According to a study, most journalists agree that having a positive long-term relationship with the brands they write about is very important. This is because they would much rather connect with someone they have a connection with.
An important thing to remember is that journalists also prefer to be pitched through email because it makes communication easy to track. Using email shows your commitment to the relationship that you are trying to develop.
Instead of pitching a specific journalist, you can also pitch an entire media outlet. The benefit of sending your pitch to a media outlet is that they have more freedom on the stories they publish. However, they also care very deeply about the quality of content they are putting out. For this reason, media outlets will only publish stories which benefit their audiences. They would much rather create organic content than publish a salesy article from a brand.
Media outreach templates
Good PR outreach does not follow a specific format. Even so, here are a few guidelines on creating pitches that can help you make that initial connection with a journalist.
1) The spelling mistake email
For someone who is not in the writing industry, this email may seem slightly condescending. However, journalists do appreciate it when someone points out mistakes they’ve made so that they can improve on their work. In fact, offering a journalist this kind of help with no strings attached is a great way to begin a relationship. Moreover, mentioning details from a previous article, helps you to look like you are a legitimate reader. However, remember that this email should help the journalist, not critique them. By mentioning details from a previous article, you look like you 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 wants to learn more about it. Creating this type of email helps you share relevant content with the targeted journalist as well as establish your authority in the field. Remember to only share useful information that is interesting. After all, this email is only designed to break the ice.
3) The “followed your advice” email
One thing that journalists appreciate is when their content helps people. For this reason, you can begin your pitch by showing appreciation for something that a journalist or blogger has previously written. You can also mention that you’ve gotten good results from it. This shows the journalist that their writing has had an actual impact. By telling the writer exactly what effect their advice had on your lives and their business, you can build a positive relationship and encourage the journalist to leave the door open for future pitches.
4) The “thought you might be interested” email
Another way to make an initial connection with a journalist is to offer them a tip for a story when it doesn’t benefit your brand. Once you help them write a quality story, you will be in their good books. By the time you want to pitch your own brand, they will be more open to helping you.
Media outreach has proven to work for all kinds of businesses that want media attention. However, journalists have likely seen every type of pitch that exists. So writing a pitch that stands out is more complicated than it used to be. Moreover, having the perfect pitch is just one step in the whole process. Your pitch needs to be followed up with outreach efforts that stand out from your competition. While businesses can still use the old-fashioned method of looking for media outlets, it can be very stressful and time-consuming. PR agencies like Pressfarm exist to help you with your media outreach. With this professional help, you can focus on other aspects of running your business.