August 03, 2016
/ by Susan Guillory
While journalists certainly are an important component of the public relations equation, I feel like we’ve come to rely on them in ways that aren’t exactly healthy for our businesses (or for those journalists who are sick of being bombarded by awful press releases). We send a pitch, then sit around biting our nails, desperate for a return email saying of course, they’d love to write about our brand.
But then it doesn’t happen.
So instead of wasting time waiting for that magical alchemical formula of journalist + your brand = overnight success, I suggest taking matters into your own hands when it comes to PR.
Rather than getting in line to ride the most popular roller coaster in the park (the journalist), why not step right up to that other ride in the corner that has no wait? That’s the blogger.
It’s far from a secret that bloggers work with brands in a variety of ways, but it’s still a less popular option than pitching journalists, and I think that’s plain silly. Bloggers have an even better connection with their audience and can sell them on your product better than a journalist simply reporting your news. When they review your product, take videos of it and give it away, they incite enthusiasm with their loyal readers, who are then excited to learn more about your brand.
Include blogger outreach in your PR strategy. Use a media database to seek out the blogs that target your demographic and see how you can work with those bloggers in a meaningful way to get your brand out there.
There is absolutely a right way and a wrong way to use press releases. If you’re just spitting them out whether you have news or not and then getting offended when journalists aren’t beating down your door, you need to go back to Press Release 101 to sharpen your skills.
If you have genuine news, like the launch of a new product, a press release can be a fantastic way to get the word out. But don’t wait for journalists to read your release online, because you may be waiting a while. Instead, include a link to that press release in your email pitch as a reference so that the journalists you pitch can read more about your news and decide if they want to cover it.
Remember: relying on any single tool will probably provide disappointing results. Instead, diversify your efforts across social media, content marketing, email and PR. Each of these supports the others, and together can provide a cohesive way to expand your brand’s reach.
Images via Pixabay: 1, 2, 3
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