Most modern business owners have a hard time choosing between paid sponsorships and PR pitching. This is expected, given that each has obvious benefits. In order to make this decision, it’s important to examine the purposes of each. It’s also crucial to understand the differences between the two.
In this article, we are going to have a look at both ways of securing media. By the end of our analysis, you should have an easier time choosing the best approach for your business.
How PR pitching works
The goal of every PR expert is to get their story picked up by journalists, bloggers, or thought leaders. However, this is much easier said than done. While it takes an effort to get media coverage, it’s worth every effort. You see, getting your brand published on reputable media publications like Forbes helps build its credibility.
Not to mention, you will be tapping into a wide audience of prospective clients who read these magazines. Thus, from a single publication, your business can benefit in different ways, ultimately leading to brand recognition. When you get an uptick in traffic flowing to your business site, you can convert some of these people into quality leads. If you are persuasive enough, you will actually get loyal clients.
How to do successful PR pitching
Craft a story that is actually interesting
As impressive as PR pitching sounds, capturing media attention let alone getting coverage is a difficult task. It’s also time-consuming. For starters, you need a captivating story that qualifies as newsworthy content.
Do your research
Secondly, research is paramount. Start by compiling a list of reporters within your locality. Do they cover content from your local area? Well, if they do, you need to track their publications to see if their content aligns with your brand story. Meanwhile, you should also capture the style of writing they prefer before reaching out to them.
Personalise your pitches
Based on a report by MuckRack, reporters get at least 25 pitches weekly. In other words, you are not the only one competing for the journalist’s attention. In order to sift through these pitches, reporters start by rejecting pitches with no sense of personalisation.
As you can see, it doesn’t pay to rush through the entire pitching process if you want your story to be published. Rather, you need to invest time building a close relationship with journalists before pitching your content. In the long-term, building this kind of relationship will help you to customise your content to fit their preference during pitching.
Another way to capture a journalist’s attention is by being resourceful. Think of the work of a journalist has to do to publish newsworthy content. First, they have to find newsworthy stories to share with the world. As such, they are always searching for fresh interesting content to publish for their readers. If you prove to be reliable by providing them with fresh content to publish, they will notice you. What’s more, if they realise that you are consistently resourceful, they will start coming to you for stories, rather than waiting for you to come to them.
To outdo your competition, you can provide more facts and share references to support your content. A platform like Pressfarm can help you with this. In addition to crafting engaging press releases and guest posts for you, they will connect you to the right media outlets or journalists in your niche. With a custom media list from Pressfarm, you can see each journalist’s specialisation. This makes it much easier to personalise your approach, like we discussed earlier.
You can also check out some sites where reporters publish their news stories. At the moment, these are sites like TechBullion, CoinDesk, and ProfNet. Your task is to identify a topic that relates to your niche and then offer insightful content on that. This is a wonderful opportunity that your brand can leverage to stand out as a thought leader. In doing so, it will gain reputation and credibility as a result of these partnerships you build with media outlets. Not to mention, the coverage will drive more traffic to your brand.
Pros of PR pitching
- It’s relatively inexpensive to do PR pitching since it doesn’t cost you any money
- Your content doesn’t get published with sponsored tag, so it has more social proof
- Your brand gains reputation and credibility
Cons of PR pitching
- It’s time-consuming
- You have no control over the final piece of content that gets published
- There is no guarantee that your content will actually get published
How sponsored content works
If you want to use sponsored content for marketing, then you will need to set up a budget for it. That’s because you will be spending money to get your content published. To your advantage, this option isn’t time-consuming. All you need to do is hire a distribution service or pay a media outlet directly to get your content published.
When you choose to sponsor your content through the media, you can leverage popular sites like Bitcoin.com and Cointelegraph. As long as you’re strategic about the media outlet that you choose, you can be certain that you will reach your target audience. At most publications that accept sponsored content, it takes less than a day to get your content published. Additionally, with sponsored content, you have more control over the final version of your content that is published.
The problem with control
Unfortunately, this control comes with a small caveat. Your content will have a “sponsored” tag on it, and anyone who sees it will know that you paid to have it published on that particular platform. Every potential client who stumbles upon it will notice this tag, and this takes away from the credibility of your story. After all, people are more likely to believe an independent story about your brand from a reporter than they are to believe a story that you’ve written for your brand. Furthermore, you will incur the publishing and distribution costs of your story. Therefore, if you choose to use sponsored content, you will need a budget. This is unlike the case of PR pitching, which is completely free.
To your advantage, sponsored content gets the ultimate visibility and contributes positively to your brand reach. It will reach a wider audience. It might even reach new journalists who might just write a follow-up article about your brand if the first story is compelling enough.
Pros of sponsored content
- Your brand story will get featured in publications more quickly than it would be with PR pitching
- If you create a coordinated campaign, you can maintain a positive presence in front of your target audience
- You have total control over the content getting published
- Even without doing PR pitching, there’s a higher likelihood of your content getting picked up
Cons of sponsored content
- This kind of content is often perceived as having less credibility
- Your content will be published with a prominent “sponsored” tag
- You will need a significant budget
Now that we’ve gone over both, which is better for your brand? PR pitching or sponsored content? As we’ve seen above, both these approaches can get your story published by media outlets. However, the difference is in the approach required for each. With PR pitching directly to media outlets, you will need no budget. However, your content has to be striking and newsworthy to pique the attention of a journalist. If your story doesn’t capture the journalist’s attention, it may never get media coverage. On the other hand, the publication of sponsored content is guaranteed but you need a significant budget.
Keep in mind that the kind of media outlets that accept sponsored content also have high standards for the kind of content they publish. Don’t assume that just because you’ve paid to have your content published they will publish it with no questions asked. Each media outlet has specific standards to maintain, and you might need to tweak your content a few times to ensure it meets their standards. If you need help, you can reach out to the expert writers at Pressfarm. Having worked with several media outlets, this team of writers has what it takes to get your content right the first time round. This will improve the chances of your story being published, both when you’re doing PR pitching and when you’re using sponsored content.