Posted by amandamilligan
Content creation and promotion is our bread and butter at Fractl, but most of the questions we get are tied to the promotions side of the process.
People ask us: How are you able to secure media coverage on sites like CNBC, USA Today, and more?
It’s not easy, I’ll tell you that. It takes a lot of time and resources, and over the years we’ve established a set of tenets that guide our digital PR process.
I hope sharing them with you will help you refine your own strategy.
1. Research and relevancy are non-negotiable
When we surveyed 500 writers in 2019, we asked them about their biggest pitching pet peeves.
PR pros and journalists have a mutually beneficial relationship. We provide them a source for their posts, and they share what we produce widely with their audience.
Why is it important to avoid peeving off journalists?
The thing is, journalists receive dozens of pitch emails a day.
That’s why it’s so imperative that you craft the best possible email to them every time. You’re competing with tons of other content providers for the same spot on their editorial calendar.
As it turns out, they’re most annoyed when pitches aren’t relevant to them.
While this is great insight into how to surpass many of the other pitches that land in these writers’ inboxes, it’s still tough to know how to tangibly put this into action.
Based on our experience, here are our tips for making sure your pitches are relevant to the person you’re pitching:
- What is the person’s beat? It’s often more specific than it may seem. For example, instead of digital marketing, they might only write about social media. Or instead of general health, they may write about health but only in conjunction with psychology. Make sure you’ve studied exactly what they cover so you’re not pitching something useless to them.
- Do they ever cover external studies or the type of content you’re pitching? If they stick to opinion or investigative journalism, whatever you’re sending them might not be up their alley.
- Can their website or platform support your content type? Not every site can embed interactives or videos. Or maybe the publisher is just sick of posting a certain content type like infographics. See what’s been published in the past and if your content fits in with what they’re regularly writing about.
While you’re doing this research, it doesn’t hurt to see how often that particular writer publishes. If it’s once a day, you have a much higher chance of getting coverage than if they’re a contributing writer who only writes for that publication once a month.
2. Personalization matters
People appreciate being seen, and recognizing that you’ve done your homework to make sure they’re actually a good fit to write about your content (as discussed in the previous section).
Adding a touch of personalization can go a long way in making it very clear you’re taking the pitch seriously, and also that you’re just two people having a conversation. (Wouldn’t you rather reply to someone you get a good first impression from?)
In a recent study, we sent 100 pitch emails, half with personalizations and half without them, asking for quotes to include in an article. We found that personalized emails received a higher rate of positive-sentiment responses.