We recently shared our insights on what digital PR is and how to work on a good digital PR strategy. This article will help delve into tips for outreaching digital PR and its finer details.
Outreach is a key function for any digital PR campaign and its success. The process involves sharing press information or pitching a PR article to industry-specific contacts (journalists, bloggers, influencers, or media houses).
Considering that a digital PR campaign is well thought out – from a press note or release with all important data and facts to a proper landing page – and is ready to roll, it is time for it to shine, through outreach!
When it comes to mode of communication, not much has changed since 2013 (that’s when I started my professional career at a traditional PR agency). Emails are still the most preferred method – both by the sender and receiver.
Here are some tips to get you started:
1. Create a specific contact list
It is important to identify the correct contact person and create a list or database to outreach a campaign. It goes without saying that this contact list needs to be specific to the industry and content that you are pitching.
Hack: If you don’t have an industry-specific media list or an outreach tool (eg: Cision) to quickly put together an outreach list, Google it – Search for a similar topic and pick the websites that have published articles relevant to the industry that the campaign is targeting. These articles would usually have the name of the publisher just under the headline along with their contact details, if not try their contact us or about the team page.
2. Quality over quantity
Backlinks are more effective when they come from a credible source usually with a good domain rating (DR). Outreaching 500 websites is great but if the majority of these websites have DRs less than 5, Google may think that your landing page/website is dodgy. On the other hand, a credible source would do just the opposite and in turn, increase the DR of your own website.
3. Writing the perfect outreach email
According to research by Cision, 28% of journalists highlight that PR professionals can do a better job of researching and understanding their outlet before pitching an idea. And rightly so!
A perfect outreach email constitutes of the following:
- An attractive and relevant subject line, no more than 8 words
- A warm and friendly tone of voice
- A summary of what the press release is about – keep it short, 3 paragraphs
- Don’t forget to include assets in the pitch – link them as emails with attachments go directly into spam at times
- Build relationships – Add a personalised touch if you have communicated with the journalist before
As per research by Muckrack, most journalists prefer 1:1 pitches and said a lack of personalisation is the #1 reason they reject a pitch.
4. Lead by example
During annual occasions and holidays, a lot of similar content is shared with journalists (eg: Christmas, valentine’s day). Goes without saying, only the best campaigns make it. If pitching to a magazine, the content needs to be shared at least a month in advance, with dailies – two weeks before the occasion is apt.
If your campaign or brand is relevant to a trending topic, it is a great opportunity to pitch ASAP to the journalists making the conversation. Lead by example.
5. Don’t spam
In larger media houses, many a time there are journalists who write for the same industry and/or on common topics. While putting the contact list together, refrain from including more than two personnel from the same media house and outreach to just one journalist. In case, the journalist is not available or has left the company, only then share it with the other journalist from the same publication.
6. Kindly follow-up
Many journalists are known to receive 300 to 500 pitches every morning. It is only human for your pitch to miss their eye. At a recent conference, one journalist revealed that they are happy to receive a kind follow-up email. PR & Journalism have nurtured a great relationship over the years and it is essential for us to keep building on that.
Reach out to experts of digital PR should you wish to fast-forward your results with a digital PR strategy!
*In this article, media personnel refers to all journalists, bloggers, influencers.