There’s a lot of talk about the merge of PR and Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and the need for the two to start working more closely together. To help professionals in both industries get up to speed, we recently shared SEO tips for PR professionals. Now, we want to share PR insights with SEOs.

Ken Krogue quoted Adam Torkildson, a respected SEO professional, in a controversial Forbes article as saying, “…it is about who you actually, really, know. It’s the buzz you create. And how much value you provide your community of followers in return.”

For SEOs, that means learning to work with major online media outlets is a major item on the to-do list. Reaching out to a journalist and asking them to share your content—in an article they write themselves—takes a bit of finesse, and a different approach than the guest post placement most SEOs have done in the past.

DigitalRelevance previously shared some insight into the differences between guest posting and editorial coverage. Now, here are some basic things to know about media relations.

5 Things to Know about Pitching the Media

  1. Journalists are people, too. They have lives and personalities, and this is their job—just like getting their attention is your job. Making it easier for them to do their job well will likely make them like you more.
  2. They don’t owe you anything. You are asking them to do something for you—what do they get out of the deal? Be sure to clearly inform them of the value you provide.
  3. You aren’t the only one pitching them. For each journalist there can be hundreds of people vying for their attention. Try to be remarkable, but not by being over-the-top and flashy. Instead, clearly communicate the information or resources you can offer.
  4. Be knowledgeable of their work. A great way to stand out with journalists is to show them that you’ve done your homework—you’ve read their past articles and you know that what you’re offering makes sense for them.
  5. Media is a competitive business. The common inclination is to use coverage received from one top-tier outlet to show credibility to other outlets. Media are businesses, so they compete to be the first and the best. Showing them that their competitor already covered you probably just gives them another reason to ignore you.

Ready to learn more about media relations, including how to structure a great email pitch? Check out our upcoming webinar, The Not-So-Odd-Couple: The Union of PR and SEO, this Thursday, October 17.