Public relations isn’t easy to master, especially when it comes to media relations. The smallest event can lead to the biggest news coverage ever, and the proudest moment of a business’ career might only become a short article in the back of a local newspaper. The mantra of an inbound marketer is to get their message out without interrupting people along the way. So how does a company do great PR while still maintaining inbound marketing best practices?
are 10 great tips to help you rock public relations like an inbound marketer.
Journalists get pounded with thousands of press releases and story requests from PR professionals on a daily basis. The trick is figuring out the best way to break through the clutter and grab their attention. The first step to doing this is to determine which topic(s), or beat(s), the journalist writes about. If they are a technology reporter, you wouldn’t want to pitch a sports story to them. If they are a business reporter, you shouldn’t pitch a travel story to them.
which stories a journalist has covered in the past. If you think your company
is interchangeable with another company the reporter has written about, pitch
the story to them. Show them that you have a creative angle that could be a
follow-up story to one of their past articles. Also, research which reporters
and publications are writing about your competitors. If they are writing about
a similar industry and topic, they may be open to writing about your company, too.
An important part of building relationships on Twitter is listening to what others are asking for instead of always asking for help. Many journalists tweet about articles they are writing and seek people to interview. Use tools like Muck Rack to identify appropriate journalists by beat and industry on Twitter, and take the necessary steps to build relationships and schmooze with the journalists you’d love coverage from.
about and create content that covers topics similar to what journalists have
written about in the past. Communicate with journalists and provide feedback on
what you liked about their past articles. Share content either you’ve created
or thought the journalist would find useful to get their attention. Notice
they’re looking for a source for their story? Your business might not be a
great fit, but maybe you could suggest another helpful source. Be helpful, and
they’ll be more inclined to return the favor.
journalists on LinkedIn. Because you can see which connections you share,
introductions can be more intimate. Research the connections you have in common,
and request introductions from your mutual connections. This practice should go
both ways, too. If you introduce your colleagues to the people you know, you’ll
find the goodwill will be reciprocated.
A major part of public relations is building relationships. And part of relationship-building is making sure that after someone helps you out or does you a favor, you show your appreciation and possibly even reciprocate. The same applies when working with journalists. After a journalist gives your business some news coverage, make sure you reach out to them and let them know you appreciated the article. Keep the door open for opportunities to work together in the future. This may mean periodically letting them know what your company is up to or following their research and publications to see where you can help them out with a story. Even if you’re not a good fit for a future story they’re writing, they will be more inclined to suggest you to another journalist whose story you are a good fit for.
Content creation is arguably your best tool for public relations outreach. Don’t simply repeat the normal online discussion topics within your industry. Create content that stands out, and media professionals will take notice organically. Can you do the research to publish an industry report that reveals some compelling industry insights? Original research and data analysis can take your content and ideas a step further and truly stand out to the masses. Furthermore, particularly creative content has a lot of potential to generate media coverage as well. Think viral videos, awesome infographics, and funny cartoons.
Press releases are a tried and true tool for distributing company news, but they have another great benefit as well: SEO. Because press releases are often published on many news syndication sites, they offer a ripe opportunity to build inbound links for your business and help you boost search engine rankings. In your press releases, be sure to include appropriate keywords for your business to help increase the release’s SEO value. Also, include relevant links with anchor text pointing back to your website. To amp up the lead gen value of your press releases, consider linking back to landing pages on your website, too.
time your company does something interesting, you likely can’t afford to
distribute a press release. It can get expensive, and won’t be efficient. But
just because you don’t send out a press release over the proverbial ‘wire,’
that doesn’t mean you can’t write about it on a company news blog. Create a
separate blog that is reserved for interesting company news and updates
(separate it from your educational, industry thought leadership blog), and
publish content to it regularly. Link to your news blog from your website’s
newsroom and the media will recognize this as the “go-to” place to
read about the latest happenings of your company.
to produce relevant and interesting content for your audience. You will soon
find that you have generated a great following of fans and evangelists who will
likely spread your messages and thus, do some PR handiwork for you and your
relations takes a lot of time, effort, and energy if you want to do it right
and produce results for your business. Ideally, you would pitch a story to a
journalist and see it in the paper the next day…but that’s just not how it
works. Conduct a lot of research on appropriate journalists, reporters, and
news outlets/publications before making any contact with them. Use creative
techniques including social media to get their attention instead of being just
another email that gets deleted from their cluttered inbox. And finally, show
that you and your company are easy to work with, and leave the door open for
you doing PR the inbound way? What other tips would you suggest to take
advantage of inbound PR?