The, “If you build it they will come,” model simply doesn’t work for public relations. If you want to get coverage for your brand or client, you need to put news, stories, and content in front of the journalists, bloggers, and influencers who have the power to spread the message. There is no one-size-fits-all approach for PR outreach, but there are a few go-to methods and, fortunately, tools and services to help.
Press Releases and Wire Services
Although press releases may seem a bit old fashioned, they are still a valuable PR outreach tactic that should not be overlooked. Journalists and other writers do leverage press releases as a source for story ideas. However, putting press releases on a wire service should never be considered as a standalone strategy because it is a fairly passive tactic. There are several mature wire services for electronic press release delivery, such as PR Newswire and Business Wire, along with newer, less expensive contenders including, 24-7 Press Release and eReleases.com.
Source Request Services
One very effective way to find journalists who want to write about topics relevant to your brand is to subscribe to a source request services. These services allow authors to post information about their story and the type of sources they are looking for. Subscribers receive a digest of all the requests via email. If your brand or client is a good fit for any of the requests, you simply reply via email and make your pitch. HARO (Help a Reporter Out) is one of the most popular services of this type and, good news, it’s free.
Of course, one of the fundamentals of PR outreach is identifying and pitching journalists that cover topics in your brand’s industry, geography, and market segment. These might include authors for trade publications, local media, technology pubs and even broader mass media. Media outreach can only be effective if pitches are well targeted to journalists based on the type of stories that they cover. The most effective way to get earned media coverage is to develop relationships with journalists and deliver content and stories that are aligned with their typical subject matter. TrendKite’s media monitoring solution is designed to help you do exactly that.
Once you’ve achieved an earned media mention or crafted quality owned content, you want it to be shared as widely as possible. This is where influencer outreach comes in. Influencers are people with a large or important audience that cares about what the influencer has to say. When influencers share content, their followers are likely to do the same. Having an influencer share your content or an article in which your brand is mentioned brings instant credibility, so it is important to identify and build relationships with the influencers in your space. Buzzsumo is an online tool that provides information on the influencers who are sharing content related to particular topics. It’s an excellent way to begin to build out the list of influencers you want to engage.
You don’t exactly have to go door to door to be effective at PR outreach, but you can’t be shy either. Once you have a great story to tell and excellent content to back it up, it’s time to get the show on the road by connecting with writers and influencers. Your outreach efforts should leverage as many options as possible to make sure that you don’t miss any opportunity to amplify your message.