3 Important Lessons on Digital PR Outreach
The digital age has transformed today’s marketing and public relations industry—almost overnight. In this environment, successful PR professionals have had to modernize their tactics. The traditional press release is no longer the most effective way to reach an audience and developing a strong PR outreach campaign is becoming more important. Frankie Rendon, @mrchibolin an online content specialist states, “Online publications, blogs and social media now dominate, and as a result, bloggers and online reporters garner the most attention.” Modern PR outreach does, however, have its own set of rules.
1. Be Prepared & Build Relationships
The point of PR outreach is identifying sources that align with your brand and target market through a hands-on approach. This includes taking time to research different sources and then familiarizing yourself with their types of content. Try to narrow down a specific list of editors/publishers you would like to know and eventually send pitches to. Once you have this information, you are ready to connect and introduce yourself. According to Inc., in the initial contact you should ask a question in reference to an article, express your interest in their content or start engaging on their social accounts. This will help you start to develop a relationship and help them notice you before you ever start asking for anything in return.
2. Be Personal
The tone of PR outreach should be less formal and more conversational than that of a traditional press release and follow-up pitch. In the article, The difference between PR and Online Outreach, author Kate Southgate advises you should keep your pitch short, simple and punchy to explain what you can offer. Also, make sure to spend time customizing each and every pitch, as this will set you apart from other inquiries. “A well-written subject line can make the difference between your email being welcomed with open arms and meeting its digital demise,” said Rendon. “If it’s too short, you run the risk of being disregarded, too long, and it could appear spam-ey.” Of course no one likes mass e-mails, which are impersonal and bad form if you are pitching that your article idea is perfect solely for their media. The goal is to demonstrate your understanding of their publishing platform and what resonates with their audience. “Once you are familiar with your target audience, you can create engaging and relevant content,” said Rendon. “Also, realize that timing can be critical depending on the contact–so do your research on lead times.”
3. PR & Lead Generation
As we all know, communication is a two-way street and relationships are not built overnight. “When used properly, PR outreach serves as an effective lead generator, by way of building authority, trust and credibility within your respective industries,” said Rendon. “You do this by making meaningful connections and nurturing those relationships.” He advises keeping an up-to-date list of sources and their preferences that can benefit future campaigns. As the Inc. article states, in the modern age of PR you can’t afford to waste time on media that doesn’t align with your brand and target market. Therefore, make sure to devote quality time on the ones that do.