Media Outreach Best Practices

Media outreach is the art and skill of pitching an idea, a news story, or an action step to someone else. In most cases the person you’re pitching to is a media representative. However, it’s also fair to say that the definition of a media representative has changed over the past decade. We’re now no longer limited to newspaper journalists or television news programs. Now you have social media influencers, industry bloggers, podcasters and many other resources available to you. The “media” can include a wide variety of channels. This variety means that you have more opportunities to pitch. It also means more competition. That’s why it’s a good idea to understand the best practices as they relate to media outreach.

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1. Identify Your Goals

Don’t start randomly pitching to people without a clear understanding of what you’re trying to achieve. Take a look at your sales and marketing goals. Explore your business goals. Now, using those objectives, determine what you can reasonably accomplish through media outreach. Your goals, for example, might be simply to drive traffic to your opt-in page. They might be to increase engagement or to build brand awareness. Goals first – pitching comes later.

2. Research, Research, Research

Your pitch needs to be specific to the person that you’re pitching too. And the person you’re pitching to needs to reflect your goals. Research the possibilities. Who can you pitch to? Then research each person individually. Why would they care about your company? What do you have to offer them? Know the answer to these questions before you pitch.

3. Perfect Your Pitch

Before you pitch, make sure that you take great care in preparing it. In most cases, pitches are delivered via email. That gives you complete control over the message. Make sure that you’re identifying the reason for the communication, what the person has to gain, and what you’re pitching. Don’t be long-winded. Keep it short, simple, and to the point. However, also be professional.

4. Be Ready for Them

Imagine that you pitch to a social media influencer and they decide that they are interested. They click on the website link you provide and once they’re at your site, they can’t find anything they’re looking for. Make sure that you’re completely prepared for the pitch. That means having a strong brand, a professional website, and photos and images that can be used online. Videos, reports, and supplemental information can and should all be made available to the person you’re pitching to.

Finally, follow up. If you say that you’re going to follow up with them in a week, then by all means do so. Sometimes it can take a few tries before a pitch hits home and you get positive results. It’s part of the process. Make these best practices part of your media outreach system and you’ll get the results you’re seeking.

Anthony Santiago is Director of Marketing at Newswire. With over a decade of experience in PR, he helps ensure that clients understand the value of brand messaging and reach.

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