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What is Media Outreach?

In my work with entrepreneurs and start-ups, one of the marketing/communications areas that makes them more confused is media outreach vs. media relations.

I see this very often: even seasoned entrepreneurs with extensive marketing experience struggle to get media outreach right. But it doesn’t have to be that way.

How can you persuade your target journalists and bloggers to write about your business? There is a simple, yet effective, pitching process that we will share.

You can actually pitch journalists over email (in our next post, we’ll show you the exact steps on how to find your target journalists and their verified email addresses in order to scale media outreach for amazing results).

First, let’s understand a few basics: Media outreach versus media relations

Media outreach is the art of pitching information about your product/service to journalists, bloggers and influencers with the purpose of getting press coverage, brand mentions and exposure for your business.

For example, you might pitch your new healthy eating app to a local radio show that covers new businesses.

How different is this from sending news releases? Very different.

For instance, apart from sending a press release to the local newspaper about your app, you can also generate interest in healthy diets on a social media website or sponsor a radio show on healthy eating.

This is Media relations: the relationship-building process with journalists, influencers and bloggers . It is a two-way communication where you not only tell them about your company but also become a credible source for them on subjects related to your niche. It is about working together to build a relationship where you can be the first person to help and provide value This way when you pitch content about your company, they will be willing to listen and write about it.

But there’s a catch… you should ideally pitch after building an initial relationship with the journalist or blogger to get an effective response to your call.

You do media outreach to get backlinks from webmasters, secure guest posts on industry blogs, and get journalists to mention you (or your product) in an article.

However, the way you pitch a webmaster for a backlink is very different from the way you pitch a newspaper editor for a story In the days before the internet, media outreach or PR outreach meant getting journalists from traditional media outlets like the television, newspaper or the radio to write about you. With the internet creating its own tribe of influencers and bloggers, media outreach has expanded to cover blogs and social networking sites like Facebook and other digital media outlets.

A guest post on CEO.com under your name is as much a part of “Media outreach” as a quote from you in a Financial Times article. And it is also better measured.

The benefits of media outreach are obvious: these journalists and influencers can provide invaluable visibility for your company’s story to their audience Your goal in pitching to these people will be to get guest posting slots, get them to include you in an article or to write about your business either directly or tangentially.

The best combination of media outreach and media relations can help you build a positive company image and boost traffic to your website… and sales.

In our next post, we will show you the exact steps on how to find your target journalists and their verified emails or social media accounts in order to scale media outreach for amazing results.


How to improve your media outreach?

Now that you know what media outreach means and why it is important, let us show you how to make the most of it.

Here are 4 steps to improve your media outreach:

1. Research your target audience

In this case, know the journalist or blogger you plan to target. Research media outlets (publications, magazines, Youtube channels, blogs) and individual journalists you plan to reach out to.

Read as many articles and blogs, as possible, written by those journalists about your subject. Check them out on social media.

This will enable you to be familiar with the type of content they produce and help you prepare content that will be of their interest. Media outreach usually fails because the content pitched is not what that journalist writes about or is interested in This is crucial.

Search for terms related to your industry, as well as your competitors It will help you identify journalists and bloggers that are writing on those subjects. For example, if you’re a SaaS company, your media outreach strategy would involve focusing on terms related to your sector.

2. Build your target media list

Pitching the right story to the right person is more likely to result in it getting press coverage. It will also help develop your credibility with key journalists and influencers.

Step 1: Define the content you’re pitching

You must be clear on what type of content you want to pitch. Is it an interview with an executive, a new product announcement or a piece of original research? A targeted outreach list cannot be built without knowing what your message will look like.

Step 2: Develop unique Angles

Once you know what you’re offering, make a list of all the different journalists who may want to share it with their readers Then, create different “angles” or lead points for your content so that it becomes relevant to each of these journalists and their audience.

For example, we created a pitch for Wideum, comparing the software with WhatsApp: “the Spanish WhatsApp that is revolutionizing the remote assistance market” ( https://bit.ly/noticiawideum).

This way your content will be targeted and relevant when it reaches your targeted journalists.

Step 3: Search by publication and journalist

You can use databases to build your list, so start with a general search for publications that write about your vertical or product category. Then search each publication or blog to find relevant journalists who write on specific topics and keywords related to your category.

For example, a general search for entrepreneurship magazines will give you results like Forbes. An in-depth search in Forbes will give you the names of multiple start-up writers.

Next, when you do a contact search for “start-up” it will give you names of journalists who write about start-ups in other publications that may not have a specific investment focus — like Flowers.com, or Wired.

Step 4: Focus on correct job descriptions or profiles

Different media outlets use different names for journalists’ and writers’ jobs. Reporter, staff writer, editorial assistant – these are general designations of journalists who create content and who are relevant for you. You should never pitch to the Editor-In-Chief. They are usually responsible for the business end of an outlet—like selecting content, not creating it.

3. Develop your relevant story

First, a subject line that is short and sweet, yet piques the curiosity and is personalized can be the determining factor whether or not your pitch is even opened, let alone read. Most journalists receive between 30 and 200 pitches per week, so it is essential to take your subject line seriously and be creative This is where a creative subject line, one that incites curiosity, can make a difference. Think of potential news headlines and the key message your content is conveying to that specific audience.

Then, the story angle: a good pitch outlines the story in a manner that is relevant to the journalists’ audience. The outline should be clear yet concise, not more than 200 words.

Last but not least, communicate the newsworthy elements of the content and call out the emotional insights from the content in a quick bullet list.

4. Prove your content’s value

The press strives to report original, newsworthy content from credible sources Your pitch will not be effective if you fail to prove your content’s value to the journalist and their audience. But how?

Your content is valuable if it exemplifies these three qualities: It is credible, it is newsworthy, and it is relevant. Point out how your content resonates with the publication’s audience. Show how it will either educate, entertain or inspire the readers.

Once you have your media list and a valuable story to tell, it’s time to sit down and write your pitch

If you want to know how we can help you reach out to the right journalists, contact us.

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