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6 Ways to Find the Right Reporters to Pitch

There are tips for pitching journalists, tips for pitching bloggers and pitching tips in the age of social media.

All those tips won’t do you any good, if you can’t find the right reporters for your brand. With so many digital outlets, influential blogs and industry publications, it can be difficult to find the right reporter to pitch.

Find the Right Reporters to Pitch

Use the following six tips to find and pitch the reporters who have the most influence for your brand…and are most likely to cover you.

1. Research competitors

Every brand probably feels that it has a competitor that seems to always get mentioned in the media. How do they do it?

In addition to looking at the publications that cover your competitors, take a look at who they follow and engage on Twitter and other social media channels.

They may be engaging reporters who actually want to diversify their sources so they can provide a fresh perspective. Unfortunately, they may not know that you exist or have something to add to an industry conversation.

Once you find these reporters, engage them on social, share their content and comment on their blogs. Get on their radar and build a relationship before you pitch them.

Note: You can use the same technique to monitor the followers of your industry’s influencers. Reporters often use social media to research stories and often follow the biggest names in your industry.

2. Check your reading list

Reading List - How to Find Reporters to Pitch

What are your favorite publications? If what you read is relevant to your business, then you might have something to add to the conversation.

Don’t pitch them randomly, though. Do some analysis (perhaps with a spreadsheet) where you monitor what the publication publishes, when they publish it and which reporters are responsible for which content.

You may notice that on the second week of every month they run an article that touches on a specific theme that you know all about. You will also identify which reporters cover which topics.

3. Help reporters

With Help a Reporter Out (HARO), you don’t have to find the right reporters. They find you. The way HARO works is reporters who need sources submit queries, which are included in one of three daily emails.

If you find a pitch that matches your expertise, respond quickly and tell the reporter how you can help them create a better article.

4. Google is your friend

Google - How to Find Reporters

Identify the most important keywords to your business and search for them in Google and Google News. The results will show you the publications, reporters and specific aspects of those keywords they cover. Taking a couple of weeks or months to analyze how the publications and reporters operate will give you a good idea of the right targets to pitch.

5.  Search media databases

PR software solutions, such as Vocus and Cision, have comprehensive media databases that include the contact information and in-depth profiles for hundreds of thousands of journalists and reporters. Often with these databases, you can even search for journalists based on region and keywords found in their profiles and past articles.

Want to learn more about publicity alerts and Vocus’ PR solution? Sign up for a demo now!

6. Start small

Small - How to Find Reporters to Pitch

Everyone wants to get into the New York Times, but doing so is difficult. (Besides, the biggest publications aren’t always the best.)

Building up your press clippings even with smaller traditional and digital publications will begin to validate you as a thought leader. Monitor who shares those articles. You may find that an influencer enjoyed your story and shared with their network. From there, you can scan their followers and who follows them to identify other influencers and reporters.

Do you have tips for finding reporters to pitch? Let us know in the comments!

About Brian Conlin

Brian Conlin is a content marketing manager for Cision. A former journalist, he enjoys researching and developing accessible content. When not writing, you will find him watching baseball and college basketball, sampling craft beer and enjoying Baltimore. Find him on Twitter @BrianConlin13.

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