When finished, thoroughly research each source to find your best points of contact. Don’t just seek out the names and email addresses of page or section editors; also pay attention to specific bloggers or journalists who tend to cover subjects that are highly relevant to your business. It’s usually the journalist, not their editors, who generate the story ideas that drive editorial calendars. You’ll gain powerful advocates by capturing the interests of bloggers, columnists and journalists.
Also, remember, the goal is quality over quantity. Don’t try to contact every publication under the sun. Focus on those where you’d mutually benefit from an ongoing content relationship.
Spend a few weeks (or months) following the work of the people on your list. Link to their articles and blog posts on your own website content, and follow them on social media. Share their work and post about why it’s interesting. Leave insightful comments and contribute to their conversations.
Establish genuine interest in the folks on your list. A sales pitch is always more appetizing when it’s not served cold.
Finally, Establish a Relationship
This is when your public relations skills really get put to the test.
Journalists, bloggers and editors tend to be busy people. They’re usually managing several projects and deadlines. Also, they’re regularly bombarded with article ideas or contributor requests from other people like you.
Help make their lives easier, and you’ll instantly stand out from the crowd. Do this by explaining how your website content is newsworthy. Explain why it’s relevant now. And don’t shy away from humble bragging about your credentials — after all, you want your contacts to immediately perceive you as an expert in your field.
Or you could take a completely different approach. Rather than offer to share your content, offer to write a guest blog or article on a newsworthy subject. You could also propose a story idea and offer to be quoted. You could even offer to contribute information, statistical data, an infographic or other media in exchange for a contributor credit or byline.
In a nutshell, your pitch should answer three questions:
- What are you offering?
- How will your contact’s visitors benefit?
- How does your contact benefit?
Remember to include your contact information with each of your outreach attempts. Follow up after a few days if you haven’t received a reply. Don’t ask for links right off the bat — wait until you’ve made contact and have laid the groundwork for an ongoing relationship.
Public relations is about positive, ongoing relationships. It’s not about scoring one-time arrangements. Don’t let your contacts fall by the wayside after earning those coveted inbound links. Keep in touch as both a contributor and an interested follower, regularly submitting content ideas while actively engaging in your contact’s articles, blog posts and social media pages. Maintaining these relationships will only help your website’s SEO in the long run.
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