On October 24, 2017, Bulldog Reporter presented a webinar by Katy Pollard titled Media Relations: 4 Reasons It’s Not Working For You. Here is a recap of what the journalist-turned-PR pro and founder of Listening Pig PR had to teach us.
Like every good presentation, Katy Pollard’s had a clear goal: to teach you how to use better media relations so you can get more meaningful coverage.
She broke it down into four sections:
- How to get journalists to stop ignoring you
- Why one size doesn’t fit all when it comes to pitching
- Bigger outlets aren’t always better
- How monitoring and measuring can make it all better.
Here is a morsel from each. (To get the full spiel, take 45 self-indulgent minutes and watch the webinar.)
How to get journalists to stop ignoring you
Give them good stories.
Journalists don’t care about your company or product, about the fact that you got new equipment or hired someone they’ve never heard of. What they want is a gripping story that will earn them views and recognition from their editor.
And since the email subject line is the first interaction, it has to be good.
Read more about how best to get journalists’ attention in Media Matchmaker: A Blueprint to Finding Your Perfect Media Match
Some journalists get literally hundreds of email pitches a day. So make it easy on them to choose yours. Give them the facts. Remember Rudyard Kipling’s poem, and follow its advice.
And another thing: journalists don’t like puns or smart comments. It’s about instant clarity, so keep it simple.
Why one size doesn’t fit all when it comes to pitching
You know this. The spray-and-pray method does not bring good returns. People like to feel special, and an impersonal blast simply doesn’t achieve that.
But Katy goes beyond this, and offers up another bit of advice that we as PR pros often forget: journalists work on deadlines.
You’ve been monitoring the conversation around your industry, you’ve identified a journalist you simply must connect with, and you’ve crafted the perfect pitch. Now learn their deadlines.
Don’t inundate them with emails and calls when they’re in crunch time. Not only will you get nothing but crickets, but you’ll risk annoying them, which is a surefire way to make that relationship go kaput.
Reaching out after they’ve filed their latest article and are looking for that next story will make their lives easier. If you make a journalist’s life easier, they will be more receptive to your advances.
Bigger outlets aren’t always better
Yes, big publications and sites feel like the Holy Grail, and I’m sure we’ve all worked with at least one CEO who wants to be in The Times, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal.
And if you want to improve your website’s search rankings, there are 20 top news sites you need to get coverage in.
But bigger is not automatically better.
Niche publications are like micro-influencers. They have small but desperately devoted audiences, audiences that respect their opinions and views, and who act on their recommendations.
Say yours is a shoe company. You’ve been targeting consumer outlets for months, and have been getting some decent coverage, but the sales just haven’t materialized.
Then your marketing team tells you that they have some research results saying your shoes are being bought by seniors. Boom! Seniors’ magazines and healthcare publications have just become your new target.
How monitoring and measuring can make it all better
Monitoring is just a fancy word for listening, but it can make all the difference in the world at each stage of a campaign.
When it comes to media relations, monitoring can help with journalist and influencer research by showing you who is saying what about your company, industry, and competitors; it can help with outreach by showing you not only who opened your emails and when, but also their social activity and on what links they clicked; and it can help with reporting by showing you the impact of your PR efforts.
Agility PR Solutions’ all-in-one CAPTURE package combines a media contact database and advanced monitoring & reporting tools so you can streamline research, outreach, follow-up, and coverage compilation, and instead focus on what you do best: crafting and executing winning strategy.
These are just a few of the tips Katy Pollard shared with us in her webinar. To hear them all – and boost your media relations – watch it here.
And before you go! Here’s a special offer on Katy’s Perfect Pitch Template. She’s used over and over again, and it’s secured for her hundreds of pieces of quality coverage. Get it, and watch it do the same for you.