PR outreach is an essential element in marketing in today’s digital age. It should be approached with a focused strategy and adequate preparations be it when requesting an interview with a leading influencer in your industry or attempting to secure a guest blogging opportunity. It is vital that you understand the appropriate and inappropriate actions any PR outreach.
The Do’s of PR Outreach
Research Before Pitching
The success of any PR outreach campaign is pegged on detailed research which will define the rest of the efforts put into the campaign, to make or break it. The in-depth research is all about finding the right websites, media sources or bloggers to partner with for your marketing strategy or align with your brand.
You will have to options for this; the first is to familiarize yourself with search features of a media database and filtering through the search results to build an outreach list for your target market. The other option is more of a hands-on approach that you should consider if you do not have a media database in which you can use resources such as YouTube, major social media outlets, and Google for your research.
Ease Into Things
Hone on a specific list and do not rush into things; prepare adequately for what you have to do next. Start by reading the information on the various types of viable results you get, research further based on the new information and this will help you understand what the direction to take with your website, blog or channel.
Have a good idea of the type of content they post and understand their target audience before you can introduce yourself. Why? The first move you make should ensure that you connect without appearing like you are unsure, or you are asking for something. You can comment or inquire about their content, share interesting posts on social media, retweet, or email expressing how much you like a particular article.
Feel free to make an offer or a request only after you are confident that you have established some form of meaningful relationship with the source. Most industry leaders, influential bloggers and site owners get many requests on a weekly or monthly basis; so you need to be prepared before reaching out. Familiarize yourself with their target market, the content they fancy and how it resonates with their target audience.
Offer Something In Return
The days of free favors are long gone if that small thing was done for you as a favor is often done with the expectation of gaining something in return. So, play it smart. Reach out, make your request, but have something to offer in return. It should be a free product sample, coupons, and financial compensation.
The Don’ts of PR Outreach
Sending Mass Emails
Nobody loves mass emails, so think twice before sending such to bloggers and website owners; most of them can easily spot emails that are personal and those that are not from the subject line. Put in the time and effort to customize each mail you send so that it has a unique subject, introduction and closing; doing this can help set you apart from the rest.
Pitching And Ditching
Any successful PR outreach aims are building lasting meaningful relationships. Treating new connects like a one-night stand will never get you anywhere. Also, failing to get a response or getting turned down should not mean that you jump to the next source. Ride the storm, putting in more time and effort trying to know more about who you plan to approach before you make a pitch or go back to pitch again.
Spamming Your Contacts
Never, at any point, resort to spamming your contacts with offers or content even if it relates to their audience or niche. Spamming is an unprofessional thing and a complete waste of valuable time. Invest in research to know more about your source, who they are, what they do, and their target audience.
Dismissing The Importance Timing
Timing is vital, and yours should be perfect. It is already clear that you should fully understand who you are approaching before you pitch to them, but you also need to time your pitching just right. For instance, know their lead times. Some media outlets may have a 12 – 48 hours’ turnaround window for a particular content while a blog will run with relevant stories for nearly three months. If you appreciate and understand such timings, then you can know to make your pitch.
Additional Tactics and Techniques
Any of the following advance strategies can improve your prospects if you have exhausted every opportunity and yet did not manage to find a connect within your industry:
Build Buyer Personas
Think along the lines of creating a few buyer personas for your target market if you do not have some already. The personas will help you know with of your industry resources have an active engagement with your target audience and the topics that are of interest.
People love freebies. Pitching giveaways, competitions or contests to media outlets can help gain some traction when trying to attract attention. Some websites and blogs will get few of such requests; therefore, such a move can help our pitch stand out amidst the many others that reach their desk. For example Matthew Woodward was giving away some copies of a link building tool last week and I’m sure that garnered a few links. That said Matthew Woodwards blog is full of great on and off page tips.
Send A Product Sample
Sending sample products can be a useful strategy for building strong and lasting relationships with media outlets. Expect them to post a positive review if they like the sample. Such a move is a cost-effective means of drumming up unique PR while putting in little effort.
Very few people put in an effort to put a face to their names when doing digital marketing, especially when business is done mostly via email or over the phone. Part of your efforts to reach out to local media outlets and bloggers should include an attempt to make face-to-face connections because it increases the chances of establishing lasting relationships.
All in all, everything boils down to patience and exercising your due diligence. Do not waste precious time aligning yourself with people that have little opinions about your brand, content, or business. But also remember that relationships take time to establish and fortify.
Keep the do’s and don’ts mentioned above as well as the extra tips in the last section when implanting your PR outreach finding and successfully partnering with an influencer within your industry will not be hard.