News outlets need to distinguish themselves from their competition. Just like any other brand in any other space, they need to cultivate a unique identity.

With outlets trying desperately to stay afloat in this brave new media world, faithfulness to a strong and standout brand is key. In turn, contributors are now more than ever beholden to publishing stories that, first of all, align directly with their outlets’ own brand identity; in many cases, real newsworthiness has become a secondary priority.

If you want coverage, pitch accordingly.

Old rules still apply when contacting any journalist or blogger – do your research; give them what they need in a clear and succinct manner; anticipate and respond to questions before they are asked; don’t be annoying, and; build that relationship – but never forget their outlet’s identity. Always keep in mind the type of content it publishes and ask yourself if your pitch will resonate.

In this new media landscape – which sees journalists bounce from outlet to outlet and beat to beat – a reliable and up-to-date database is essential for knowing whom to contact at that outlet you’re dying to see your story in.

Agility’s database allows you to create multiple lists, grouping like outlets, so you can pitch to each group separately. You might want coverage from such disparate outlets as the BBC and WIRED, but you wouldn’t send the same pitch to each of them.

Sending the same generic pitch to every outlet is a sure-fire way to miss the mark entirely; trying to appeal to everyone will see you ultimately appeal to no one.

Instead, take the time to understand the outlet, how it presents its content, what language its writers traffic in (and thus what language they respond to and will want to see in your pitch), and send tailored pitches. Send tailored pitches. Send tailored pitches.

This little bit of extra work has the potential to pay dividends by getting your message seen by more outlets that cater to more audiences.

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Whitney Zelmer

Whitney Zelmer

Whitney Zelmer is a content marketer and events coordinator. In her free time, she is an encaustic/mixed media artist.


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