Social media and technology have drastically changed how people consume news, while journalists have also changed the way they source stories. How do you come up with an up-to-date media outreach plan is very important.
To start with, media outreach simply means putting your story in front of people who have a platform to tell it to a wider audience. Why is media outreach important? Media outreach is one of the best ways to brand yourself. In fact, many of the articles you read today have been the result of media outreach plan.
There are different types of media outreach, for example, social media outreach has grown significantly in the recent years. Reaching out media or influencers on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram has become an integral part of the plan.
In the article we will provide 10 bullet points for you to understand how to do the media outreach efficiently.
1. Think like a journalist / reader
Think like a journalist covering a news story – “What’s the angle here?” “What will hook the readers in?” Also, if you are the one swiping through internet, what kind of story will make you stop swiping and read it?
2. Have a customized eye-catching text
Pre-header text is a preview of what the email has to say. Grabbing the recipient’s attention in the pre-header is as important as the subject line. There is 30% increase in emails’ open rates if you work hard to optimize your pre-header text.
3. Open rate is not everything
Most people consider open rate of the outreach email important metric, however, it’s not true in some sense. For example, if the media opens an email and deletes it, they are probably not a candidate for an even more personalized follow-up.
4. Micro content
When you reach out for media, please include a micro content for your brand/product. This is the low cost, high value content appropriate for social media outreach. If you already had this kind of content ready, you will have better chances for successful outreach.
5. Good timing is key
For a print publication, you probably need to pitch them one month before you want your audiences to see your story. However, a lot of print media also has digital platform, so keep in mind what kind of content you want to show on internet and what story is more appropriate for print media.
6. “Me too” pitch doesn’t work
If the media just wrote a piece about a topic that you want to pitch them, the odds that they’re going be writing ANOTHER piece right away are pretty low. So don’t write them the “me too” pitch email. It’s fine to keep these reporters on your radar, perhaps for future pitches, but don’t outreach them now.
7. Calling sometimes works better in creating relationships
In the age of ubiquitous technology, I still find the phone the most effective way of cultivating relationships. Email is easy, but sometimes it’s hard to push for a real relation. If you want to secure an answer regarding interest/coverage – yes or no – you can get the answer when you call a reporter.
8. Forget the 100 email word count rule
A lot of email outreach guidelines out there stated that email within 100 words can get the best result. However, we found that email counts above 100 words actually performed 5% better than word counts below 100.
9. Try not to attach profiles in the email
For most reporters, they have spent too much time reading attachment content, and also if it’s a cold outreach, normally people won’t bother even click on the attachment. Hence, it’s better to put the important content in the email body itself.
10. Be realistic, but plan to scale
Everyone knows why media outreach is important. Our suggestion is try small to start with, like local newspapers and industry blogs. Play to your strength. Be polite and know the boundaries. Don’t be pushy. Try to present the best self in the spotlight and prepare yourself for the big media coverage one day when it comes.