At my previous job, I was responsible for pitching a traveling event to the media. The tour covered more than 40 stops in five months, and I reached out to press in every city along the way. There was thing in common that every interested party asked me: What content do you have that I can use?
Journalists (the good ones, anyway) wanted to get their hands on any videos, fact sheets, b-roll, tour logs, photos and information I had about the tour. They knew that is what would set their piece apart from the others in the news that day. So how can your company leverage this journalistic need? Start producing relevant, quality content that can be collected into an assortment of information, whether it be in the form of a blog, resource center or brand library.
There are a few important factors that make this equation work out for both parties, however. Read on for ideas on using Content Marketing to reach the press.
- First, it should go without saying that you need to be an expert in the area or industry that you want to attract the media to. If your sources are only surface deep, a good journalist will know and ignore any other query you send his way in the future. If you know a lot about social media—say you have thousands of Twitter followers or a Klout score that makes people green with envy—pitch your expertise in online success, but do not allude to the idea that you have made millions in online affiliate marketing.
- Next, it is important that you make the right connections in the press. Nothing irritates a journalist more than someone who pitches a story that has nothing to do with the journalist’s beat. When someone only writes about politics, do not pitch a medical piece about the dangers of cheap spa pedicures. Do your research and pitch your expertise to someone who can actually use them.
- Finally, make sure you have quote-worthy content. If you send a pitch via email to a reporter, link to your collection of articles—again, your blog, resource center or brand library, whatever works for you—and show them that you have not only extensive expertise, but also a vast amount of information that you are ready and willing to share with her. As a trained journalist, I hate to say this, but the easier you make the job of the reporter, the easier it is for your company name to end up in the news. So don’t skimp on the quotable sentences and bits of information.
If you are ready to build your brand and get some attention from the media, follow these steps to keep your content good, relevant and quotable—and, of course, basic PR guidelines—and you will be on your way to seeing your name in bright lights.
For more insights on Content Marketing, download our free eBook, The Content Marketing Manifesto.
Photo: Thomas Hawk
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