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This media outreach model helps you “ditch the pitch”

by | Jun 8, 2017 | Analysis, Public Relations

Modern day brand communications most often represent a push-based model, in which marketers do everything they can to get their products in front of consumers in the hopes of driving purchase decisions.

Publicists and PR professionals are equally guilty of sending endless pitches or press releases to get the media’s attention, failing to realize their endeavors could easily become a pull-based, two-way approach that not only allows but also encourages journalists to actively reach out.

It may sound counterintuitive to public relations gurus who have built a career on aggressively hunting coverage for their clients, but pull-based PR is by no means passive, rather it’s a strategic way to create holistic campaigns that drive the media to make connections with you based on your content.

If you’re not taking advantage of this missed opportunity to expand on your success, here are some tips from RingPartner that you can integrate inbound marketing techniques into your communications efforts:

Drive the novel

Public relations can be like Super Bowl commercials in that the more unique, the better. After all, some of the weirdest spots during the big game are the ones that really get people talking. This is how you make the most out of marketing money allocated to brand awareness. While it’s certainly not advisable that every brand should start disseminating intentionally strange PR messaging, it’s important to keep the concept of novel content creation front of mind.

Consider what is going to make a journalist stop and pay attention. These days, every brand has a blog or social media presence, but what kind of statements, graphics or videos can you pull together that will actual entice the press to seek you out to learn more? Research and reports consisting of unique or, better yet, contrarian data that hasn’t already been covered ad nauseam are a great start that can inspire follow up if presented in a brief but entertaining format, as opposed to a lengthy and solely informational one. Think eye-catching graphics with powerful stats rather than a novella.

Become an easy target

This approach to PR content creation is twofold. First, because 76 percent of journalists say they feel pressure to think about their story’s potential for social media sharing, it is your responsibility to give them something that will break the mold. Pitching concepts with built-in virality will always give you an edge over the 50-100 press releases they receive each week.

Second, you need to make it simple for them to get in touch with you the moment you have caught their eye. As you’re calling, emailing and tweeting at the media, you must ensure they know they can always use any of these ways to also reach out. Include all forms of contact information with every brand communication so the recipient can select their personal method of choice. More important still, set up each channel so that you’re never missing a message with call forwarding, email notifications that let you know if you’re being pinged via social channels, and even backup personnel to help you handle the incoming contacts.

Integrate marketing best practices

There are plenty of ways that public relations and traditional forms of advertising may differ. That doesn’t mean, however, that each cannot learn from the other’s best practices. Take performance marketing, for example. It comprises the creation of campaigns that drive inbound calls and online traffic through tactics that enable a brand to pay for a tangible outcome rather than a potential result.

Publicists have been traditionally weak at revolutionizing their maneuvers with tried and true tools rather than jumping on the “next big thing” in public relations. By incorporating established approaches that have proven successful for advertisers like Pay Per Call technology, you can build the strong foundation for an inbound marketing campaign that will ultimately put you and your clients in demand and increase the amount of media interest you’ll receive.

We live in a digitized, 24-hour news cycle where stories need to be bold to grab and hold the media’s attention. By putting yourself in a position to offer unique content that makes journalists feel a need to know more, and ensuring you’ve provided them simplified ways to contact your PR team, you can effectively add inbound connections to your messaging dissemination strategies.

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Sarah Gulbrandsen
Sarah Gulbrandsen has spent 15 years developing communications strategies for digital companies. As the Director of Marketing and Culture at RingPartner, she promotes the pay per call exchange's real-time ability to connect top tier advertisers with consumers.

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