Getting pick-up in the outlets that matter is generally not as easy as sending out a news release to a media list. Even if you have a thousand contacts picked out, you still might not land a single placement. Why? Because most journalists don’t like receiving a mass email that reads like a mass email. Writing a winning pitch is about understanding what a journalist wants, needs, and likes, which you can only do through research. The 3-pronged approach combines the personal touch with two methods of broader distribution to get your message the best exposure possible. It’s an approach we regularly use with our own clients.
The most effective way to get high quality coverage is to personalize your emails to journalists. This means building small lists of hyper targeted contacts, all of which you’ve vetted through research. We’re past the days of carpet bombing and playing the numbers game.
Your research should answer the following questions:
- Are these journalists right for this story?
- Will these journalists, and ultimately their audience, care about what I’m pitching?
Targeted pitches show that you’ve found the answer in both cases to be, “yes!” Understanding what a journalist’s audience wants and needs will get you coverage more consistently than mass emailing. Approach your pitch from a giving instead of asking perspective. What are you giving a journalist that will help them and their audience? What are they working on and do you have something that will benefit their story?
A well written email to a journalist helps to build a positive and beneficial relationship. First impressions are everything. In addition to make sure your pitches are studiously crafted and free of spelling and grammar mistakes, check your emails for formatting issues.
Presence is about “housing” your story somewhere credible online for greater visibility and longevity. Upload your story to the Agility newsroom for a URL to include in social posts or add into a blog post. Plus, you’ll contribute to your SEO by having a backlink to your website from a trustworthy third-party website.
Presence comes after the personal pitch. Make sure to give your short-list of journalists time to respond to your email before putting the story online, otherwise you might damage your chances of getting coverage.
Sending your press release to syndicated media outlets is a breeze with Agility’s integrated newswire service. When putting this step together, take advantage of multimedia attachments. Video is especially compelling these days.
Sending a release on a wire has the potential of getting your news release in front of people you may not have thought of including in your larger media strategy. Journalists who write for specific industry and trade publications tend to monitor newswires more closely than their mainstream counterparts.