When we’re working with companies to assist in increasing their visibility online for building awareness and acquiring new customers, there are three general strategies that we recommend:
- Public Relations – pitching media outlets that already have a relationship with your target audience, whether it’s a traditional journalist and media outlet, or a publication (like Martech Zone) with an influencer operating it, is effective for both direct sales and building indirect authority through backlinks and mentions.
- Advertising – advertising offers the opportunity to target groups that may be unaware of your products or solutions. While acquisition costs are generally higher than other methods, advertising that is designed and targeted well can be enormously successful. If your site doesn’t garner much attention or your competitors are dominating search results, advertising can provide the leads your business needs.
- Search Engine Optimization (SEO) – building a content library that provides value to prospective customers typically has a higher return on investment (ROI) than other strategies but may require quite a bit of time and effort to grow momentum. Content that ranks well can drive large volumes of relevant traffic to your site and, indirectly, can drive additional awareness and acquisition as those visitors share your content.
- Referrals – there’s nothing quite as effective as a happy customer to spread the word about your brand, products, or services. Providing rewards and even affiliate sales solutions for current customers to spread the word is a great strategy for growth with a fantastic return on investment.
These aren’t the only ways to build awareness and acquire new customers, just ones that we have found very effective. Unfortunately, the first – public relations (PR) – is often overlooked as an effective strategy. I think many business leaders either believe it is too expensive or think of old-school press release distribution, but that’s absolutely not the strategy we’re discussing.
Media Outreach Strategies
An effective media outreach strategy involves building relationships with journalists, influencers, and media outlets to gain positive coverage and promote a brand. PR professionals use various strategies to ensure their media outreach efforts are successful. Here are some of the key strategies and why they work:
- Research and target the right media contacts: PR professionals start by identifying relevant journalists, influencers, and media outlets that cover their industry or niche. By targeting the right contacts, they increase the chances of their story being picked up and published.
- Craft a compelling story: A newsworthy and engaging story is crucial to capture the attention of journalists and influencers. PR professionals focus on creating content that highlights the unique aspects of their brand, addresses current trends or issues, or offers valuable insights to the target audience.
- Personalize pitches: PR professionals avoid mass emailing generic pitches. Instead, they take the time to research each journalist or influencer, understand their interests and previous work, and tailor their pitches to align with those interests. Personalized pitches increase the likelihood of receiving a response and building a lasting relationship.
- Be timely and relevant: PR professionals monitor current events, industry trends, and news cycles to identify opportunities where their brand’s story can fit in. They also time their pitches to coincide with relevant events, holidays, or seasons, making their story more appealing and timely to journalists.
- Leverage relationships: PR professionals invest in building relationships with journalists, influencers, and media contacts. They offer value by providing them with exclusive news, expert insights, or interview opportunities, which can result in better media coverage and stronger connections.
- Follow up appropriately: PR professionals follow up on their pitches at the right time, usually within a week or two, to remind journalists or influencers of their stories. However, they avoid being overly aggressive or spamming, as that can damage relationships.
- Measure success and adapt: PR professionals track the results of their media outreach efforts to understand what works and what doesn’t. They analyze the coverage received, brand visibility, audience engagement, and other relevant metrics to refine their strategies and improve future outreach efforts.
By employing these strategies, PR professionals can effectively use media outreach to promote a brand, increase visibility, and establish credibility in their respective industries.
A critical challenge when pitching media is to actually find relevant journalists and influencers to contact. This is where PR or media databases come into play. These platforms maintain current information for your outreach targets, verify the contact information, and even provide some tips for pitching to those recipients. Some of these systems also offer email automation tools to repeatedly pitch contacts.
My recommendation for a full-featured PR solution and media database is Muck Rack. Muck Rack is a PR software designed specifically for journalists and PR professionals. It features a media database with journalist profiles, including their social media profiles, recent articles, and contact information.
Muck Rack also offers tools for monitoring media coverage, building targeted media lists, and sending personalized pitches. Muck Rack even provides the ability for each influencer or media outlet to manage their profile.
- Agility PR Solutions: Agility PR Solutions offers a media database that covers a wide range of media outlets, journalists, bloggers, and influencers from around the world. It also provides PR tools like media monitoring, press release distribution, and analytics.
- Anewstip: Anewstip is a media database and PR tool that helps users find relevant journalists and influencers based on their tweets and articles. It also offers media monitoring and analytics features.
- BuzzStream: BuzzStream is a PR and influencer marketing platform that focuses on digital outreach. It provides a database of influencers and journalists, along with tools for outreach, relationship management, and link building.
- Cision: Cision is a leading PR software that offers a comprehensive media database, along with press release distribution, social media monitoring, and analytics tools. It includes a wide range of journalists, bloggers, and influencers from various industries and regions.
- Cision Gorkana: Gorkana provides a UK-focused media database that includes journalists, bloggers, and influencers across various industries. It also offers media monitoring, social media analysis, and journalist request alerts.
- Critical Mention: Critical Mention is a real-time media monitoring platform that also offers a media contact database. Users can search for journalists, reporters, editors, and producers across various media outlets, including television, radio, online, and print.
- EIN Presswire: EIN Presswire is a press release distribution platform that also offers a media contact database. Users can search for journalists and media outlets in their target industries and regions.
- Meltwater: Meltwater is a media intelligence platform that offers a vast database of media contacts, press release distribution, social media monitoring, and analytics tools. It helps PR professionals connect with relevant journalists and influencers in their niche.
- Mynewsdesk – a solution for organizations to engage with opinion leaders, customers, bloggers and other relevant audiences – then measure the impact.
- pr.co – Bundle all your assets in a beautiful newsroom and remove every single blocker for the media. Become the superstar contact that journalists come back to again and again— and save your team a ton of time to boot.
- Pressbase – Publish news, host media kits, showcase press clippings, build a subscriber base, send newsletters, integrate with other services – everything you need for a modern online newsroom.
- PressPage – Powerful tools to manage your online newsrooms, news distribution, media databases, and more.
- Prezly: Prezly is a PR management tool that includes a media database, CRM for managing relationships with journalists, and a press release builder. It helps PR professionals create and distribute press releases and maintain contact with journalists and influencers.
- Prowly: Prowly is a PR and media relations software that offers a media database, press release distribution, media monitoring, and analytics tools. Its media database includes journalists, influencers, and bloggers from various industries.
- ResponseSource: ResponseSource is a UK-based PR platform that includes a media database, journalist request service, and press release distribution tools. It helps connect PR professionals with relevant journalists and publications.
Additional PR Software Features
Public relations software isn’t limited to just finding and pitching journalists. Depending on the platform you select, there are a number of other features you may wish to take advantage of.
- Artificial Intelligence: Many PR software platforms are now incorporating AI-assisted writers to help develop and personalize pitches for increased engagement with journalists and influencers.
- Media monitoring: Most PR solutions provide media monitoring tools that allow users to track brand mentions, industry news, and competitors’ coverage across online, print, broadcast, and social media platforms. This helps PR professionals gauge the effectiveness of their campaigns and identify new opportunities for media outreach.
- Press release distribution: Many PR platforms offer press release distribution services, which help users send their press releases to targeted media outlets, journalists, and influencers. These services often include tracking and analytics tools that allow users to measure the reach and impact of their press releases.
- Social media monitoring and analysis: Some PR solutions include social media monitoring and analytics tools that help users track brand mentions, engage with their audience, and measure the effectiveness of their social media campaigns.
- Analytics and reporting: PR platforms often provide comprehensive analytics and reporting features, allowing users to track the performance of their campaigns, measure key metrics like reach and engagement, and generate reports for internal use or clients.
- CRM and relationship management: Some PR tools offer CRM features that help users manage their relationships with journalists, influencers, and other media contacts. These tools often include features like contact management, conversation tracking, and task management, which help PR professionals stay organized and maintain strong relationships with their contacts.
- Newsroom management: Several PR solutions offer tools to create and manage online newsrooms, where users can publish press releases, news articles, media kits, and other brand assets. These newsrooms can be customized to match a brand’s look and feel and provide a centralized hub for all brand-related news and content.
- Email marketing and newsletter distribution: Some PR platforms include email marketing and newsletter distribution features, enabling users to send targeted email campaigns to their media contacts and subscribers, track engagement, and measure the effectiveness of their email marketing efforts.
- Media list management: Many PR solutions offer media list management tools that help users create, organize, and maintain targeted media lists for their outreach campaigns. These tools often include filtering and segmentation options, making it easy to create customized lists based on specific criteria.
By leveraging these additional features, PR professionals can streamline their workflows, improve the efficiency of their campaigns, and ultimately achieve better results for their clients or organizations.
Muck Rack is a user-friendly media database. Where other tools are clunky, Muck Rack is intuitive and fast. I love that the platform is integrated with Twitter, and is more up-to-date than other databases I’ve used.Jacqui Wimberly, Account Supervisor Small Girls Big Business