Whether you are fresh to the PR scene or a media relations veteran, pitching reporters can be one of the most trying aspects of your job.
Why? Reporters are busy. In fact, Cision estimates reporters receive between 80 and 100 pitches per day (and you thought you had inbox overload!)
While breaking through the clutter can seem almost impossible, Arketi outlines five ways to help you establish better relationships with reporters and transform your pitches into placements.
First things first, not everything is meant to be pitched – especially story ideas that moonlight as advertisements for your client or brand. To win the respect of reporters, you need to demonstrate how this piece can add value to their coverage and readers.
Do your homework and understand what the reporter covers so you can avoid offering information or a source that isn’t relevant to them. Give them a reason to invest time in you, which will set the tone for a strong relationship early on.
Research not only helps identify what topics a journalist covers, it also uncovers facts to infuse into your pitch. Always be aware of news pertaining to the topic you’re pitching and current trends to give that added hook. Going the extra mile will establish you as a more credible source, and increase the likelihood of catching a reporter’s interest.
Don’t be afraid to follow up on a pitch. While most reporters prefer email follow-ups, certain pitches can warrant a phone check-in. As long as you respect the reporter’s schedule, and reach out with information of value, old-school plans-based follow-up can often help nudge your pitch over the finish line.
Reporters are under a great deal of pressure and competition –more than 4 million Facebook posts every minute and 347,222 tweets each minute according to the Data Never Sleeps 3.0 report by Domo. Because of this, editors place high value on page views and social shares of the work they publish. One way to better your relationships with reporters is by promoting their work on social media. This shows reporters you are invested in helping them – and their work – be successful.
Getting inbound links from media helps your website perform better in organic search. Look for opportunities to earn links through interviews, bylined articles, roundups and even in your author bio. Incorporate links to existing resources (for example online calculator, web app, infographics) throughout your articles.
While some outlets may not allow it, don’t be afraid to ask. When readers are interested in learning more about a particular topic, an embedded link is helpful and shows the value of PR in driving site traffic. Monitoring backlinks and other metrics using tools such as Google Analytics helps folks evaluate efforts over time and identify where to spend media relations efforts.
Don’t be afraid to try new angles, or reach out to reporters who ordinarily might seem out of your realm. If you’ve done your homework and are confident that what you have to say will be valuable, then go for the pitch!
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