Outreach marketers have two main audiences: influencers and journalists. In fact, the term ‘outreach marketing’ is often defined as a combination of influencer marketing (with bloggers and vloggers) and digital PR (to journalists and online media outlets). The two audiences are distinct and should be managed in very different ways. For today’s post I am focusing on the latter and delivering my top tips for digital PR.
Find your story
1. Have a good hard look at the story you are planning to pitch – is it actually interesting to anyone who isn’t your employees, colleagues or friends? For example, is the media really going to care about your new product launch unless it’s completely revolutionary? Try to make your story more interesting by adding surprising stats from your research or adding a more emotional angle.
Write a press release
2. Write an amazing title for your press release. This title should contain all of the most important information about your story. Think of the 5 Why’s: who, when, what, where and why, and include as many as possible. The resulting title should be explicit, clear and interesting enough to make the journalist want to learn more.
3. Keep your press release short – one A4 side of paper maximum! It should have clear short paragraphs, and short sentences. Make it as easy to read as possible.
4. Place the most important information at the top of your press release. Journalists like the ‘inverted pyramid’ technique: crucial information at the top, and less important content at the bottom.
5. Include at least one quote from an authoritative source. This isn’t just any quote though! Make sure it provides real insight into the topic matter – not just more stats or even worse, self-promotion.
6. Make sure to include all the contact information journalists will need to get in touch with you for more information.
Send it out
7. You need to find the right email addresses for the journalists you want to send your press release to. This is where media databases come in handy, but if you don’t have access to one, you can often work out the email pattern for an outlet (e.g. firstname.lastname@example.org) from other addresses on their website. Emails to generic addresses like newsdesk@ are often ignored.
8. Do not overthink your email subject line. I often simply write “Story idea: Title of my Press Release”! Journalists get hundreds of emails a day – now is not the time to try and be clever.
9. Keep your pitch email short and sweet. Who you are, and what your story is should suffice. More advice on writing a good email can be found here.
10. Do not include any attachments in your email, or they will probably go straight into the journalists’ spam folders. Simply copy/paste the press release in the email, or add a hyperlink to it if you’ve posted it somewhere on your website or blog.
11. Chase, chase, chase! All journalists are busy. Incredibly busy. So chasing them up via email and even on the phone a couple of time can only help.
If you liked this post, please like, share, tweet or pin it! And keep on finding out more about outreach marketing by reading my latest blog posts. Thanks for reading!