A lot has changed in the PR business in recent years. It is no longer restricted to the decade old practices of media relations, communication and marketing strategies. The industry is constantly evolving thanks to the introduction of Digital PR – which merges traditional PR with popular advertising practices such as content, social media and SEO marketing. These tactics allow PR specialists to skirt around the traditional media and bring relevant content or news into circulation by directly reaching out to their target group online. Moreover, other platforms such as social media, blogs and reviews also aid in the effort by not only allowing us to share content, but to also develop dialogue and form new communication channels. Therefore the impact and of the relevant content is vastly increased by reaching out to a wider audience, faster than ever before.
For a long time now, many successful brands have been taking full advantage of the new digital environment. They recognize the role that Digital PR tactics can plays in increasing their online presence; and so they frequently involve key bloggers, online influencer and content writers in their outreach programs. Proper implementation of these methods can help a brand increase their target audience online visibility via citations, press hits and high quality backlinks and onsite SEO, giving rise to referral traffic.Hence brands pay high importance to developing good working relationships with online influencers at target publications and often rely on the following popular outreach tactics to assist in the effort.
1. Look up an Email ID
Search on LinkedIn and Google+ pages
To develop a professional correspondence channel with a potential target influencer, it is important that you have access to their email address. LinkedIn is a great place to start looking for contact information on your target reporter or editor. A search of the target influencer’s their job title plus the publication for which they work will typically land you on their profile page. Many reporters and editors have listed their work email address under the “Contact Info” tab located below their profile picture. Google+ pages also come in handy when trying to find a target influencer’s authentic email address. It is often listed under the “about” section. If not found, scan through web pages of all the other online publications for which your target influencer has worked. Lookup their author bio and see if they have provided an email address.
Search on Facebook Profile or YouTube Channel
If the publication has a Facebook profile page, from there you can find their email address under the “about” section. However, if the department you are interested in is not listed, make a request to the publication to put you in contact with your target reporter. Or turn to YouTube as some bloggers and online journalists also have YouTube channels. They often publish unique content on their YouTube channel – and you may find additional contact details in the “about” pages.
Turn to Rapportive to Guess Email Address
However, if you have failed in your search for the target influencer’s email id, Rapportive might be of some assistance. It is an email plugin that displays social media information about your target contact, right inside your inbox. You can use it to find a target editor or reporter’s email id by entering up to five guesses in the “recipient” line of a new email. If a guess exists, you will be able to look up their full name and the profile picture corresponding to their LinkedIn profile.
Use BuzzStream to Share Prospect Lists
If all else fails and you are out of options for potential target journalists, restock your list via BuzzStream, as it enables fellow Digital PR specialists to share their target influencer lists and to view each other’s observations on target publications and their journalists. You can look up an email template which have previously worked for your fellow Digital PR specialists, as well as map out a history of correspondence between the journalist or publication and your associate.
2. Building and Maintaining Valuable Relationships
Confirm that prospect is currently employed at target publication
It is important the online influencer is the right fit for your brand and campaign. This usually requires that you follow the person online or do a research on them. But first things first – before investing all that time in building a relationship with the influencer, it will be worth your while to confirm whether the journalist is still working at the target publication. To keep things simple, you can run an online search on the influencer and lookup their most recent editorial pieces to an answer to your query.
Reach out via Instagram, Facebook and LinkedIn
If you have an official Instagram or Facebook account/page use that to reach out to target reporter or editor. This will also lend some seriousness to the task as it can help the target journalist determine that there is some substance behind your pitch. Moreover, doing research through the social media will also give you an intimate look at the target influencer. When you are finally ready to throw your pitch, it will help you to present yourself in a unique way and possibly develop some common ground with the target journalist. LinkedIn is another such platform developed for professionals. You can send them a connection request via LinkedIn while allowing them to check out your writing credentials as well.
Comment on Their Recent Articles
Another way of showing your interest in the target blogger or journalist’s work is by leaving comments, making queries and sharing your thoughts in the comments section of their most recent editorial pieces online.
Conduct a Twitter Search, look for Familiar Twitter Hashtags
If you are looking up on new target influencers, Twitter can also be a handy tool. Scan through Twitter hashtags that fall under your related content. Follow up on the posts that click with you and strike up a conversation with the people who published them. Try to include content from their recent Twitter conversations. This will give you a chance to build new relationships while allowing you to gather more knowledge on your industry.
3. Throwing a Successful Personalized Pitch
Check out Prospect’s Twitter Feed and Personal Website
Personalizing your pitch helps break the ice and can leave the target prospect in a more receptive mood towards your offer. It lays a great foundation for building good working relations at your target publications. One of the places to start is the Twitter feed of the prospect, or their personal website which if it exists will be also listed on their Twitter profile. Otherwise you will likely come across the prospect’s personal website by searching their name on Google. Try to get to know the person – their interests, what’s important to them, and the topics they frequently about or have recently written on. Implementing this knowledge in your pitch will show the target journalist or editor that you have made an effort and done your research.
Find Common Interests on Pinterest Boards and Match their Tone in your Pitch
If you are dealing with blogger, you may find further information outside their blog on the prospect’s Pinterest board. Study their board to find common interests that you can possibly tie in your pitch. Or try to develop genuine dialogue through their Pinterest posts. One you’ve completed this step send an introduction through your personal account, and keep the pitch in accordance with the blogger’s interests and tone.
Do a Google Search of Author’s Byline
You can also old fashioned Google search of the writer’s byline to find their area of expertise and see a complete list of publications they’ve written for. Perhaps you’ve also worked at those publications in the past and can use that as a conversation starter. Do a selective read through of the target’s other articles to learn more about their writing style. Is the target journalist or blogger casual or formal in their writing? Try to incorporate that tone in your pitch so that it is more agreeable to them.
These are some of the time-tested methods that have enabled Digital PR specialist to develop high traffic generating backlinks, referrals and an increased online presence for numerous brands on many popular publications. While these outreach tactics might seem do the trick for many Digital PR specialist, it is important that we keep pace with it and continue learn new techniques and practices from the key influencers in this ever evolving industry.