You wouldn’t say “yes” to a marriage proposal after just meeting someone. Would you?
Joe has seen the landscape change in digital marketing and PR over the past decade, and he sat down with SheWorx over breakfast to discuss what needs to be done to win media coverage for your business.
What does a digital transformation mean for pitching your story? You’ve got to use the tools in your favour.
More than half of journalists are using social media to find stories. They seek out profiles and posts with an interesting angle. Joe says his top five most-viewed Forbes stories have been from him reaching out to people instead of a pitch sent his way. This all comes down to building your personal brand online.
What do journalists want? Interesting stories relevant to their audience.
Joe recommends everyone should know the hot topics in your industry and what’s trending. If you know that and apply it to your interactions with journalists, then they are much more inclined to feature you.
When breaking news hits, journalists are scrambling to find sources for stories. You’ll want to be that source. If you’ve built up your reputation online and have a relationship with them, they are much more likely to reach out and ask you for comments on the news. A lot of the time, you can cite your company or get a backlink.
How do you find what’s hot in your industry? Stay informed.
Research the topics that are relevant to your business and see how much of these search topics are in demand. This can be done with free tools like Google Trends, Google Keyword Planner but there are also paid tools out there. You should also sign up to newsletters to keep up-to-date in your industry.
I know my stuff. Now what? Focus on creating relationships on Twitter and LinkedIn.
Joe says journalism is a thankless job. It’s up to you to decide how can you make your interaction with journalists more meaningful. One way is to provide context for when you are following someone on Twitter. Send them a DM (NOT AUTOMATED!) and tell them what you thought about their article and why you are following them. This interaction should be about them, not all about you.
How Important is PR in major publications? Maybe not so much.
Joe warns of the dangers of PR coverage for vanity as they may not give you what you need. The bottom line for your business is more customers and sales. If you’re getting PR on some publications that don’t have an audience that fits your customer profile, you might be wasting your time.
A better way is by finding niche publications, websites and blogs that would have a smaller but passionate audience that would help your business. Even the writers would be more passionate to write about it if it is something they see is in direct line with their interests.
You want to do something that grows your business, going for the big flashy media names may or may not help. Many people fall into that syndrome. Ask your customers what are they reading, what types of websites or blogs to they regularly read. That should be your direction for the media you pick. Not just the larger names because they have millions of readers.
The biggest mistake people make when they finally get the coverage? Doing nothing.
For a journalist, the social shares of an article can make or break their story. More shares usually bring in more views. The more views on a webpage is great for the journalist so they can continue writing. It is also great for the publications so they can earn ad revenue.
By utilising your company, your network, the organisations you are associated with to spread this story, you are giving more back to the person who wrote about you.
Because once you’re in, you’re in.
Joe shares, “I reach out to those I’ve already featured to get opinions on more pieces.”
Like marriage, you need to be in it for the long haul. Build a relationship with journalists, don’t just USE them.