Before you read any further, I want to make sure that if there’s one thing you take away from this article, it’s this: PR is a very challenging field that requires a very specific skill set. Contrary to what Samantha Jones and Olivia Pope might have you believe, it takes much more than schmoozing and being tenacious to generate high quality results for your clients.

 

Today, PR is more strategically-driven than ever before. Coverage is not measured by the size of your magazine spread or the page number you’re featured on in the newspaper. It’s about how many visitors are clicking through to your website, what percentage of your followers are engaging with your brand on social media and how many sales your media coverage is driving.

 

In order to deliver impactful PR results, you’ll need to keep the following pieces of advice in mind in your press outreach:

 

  1. Get To The Point

 

I promise you that unless you’re Apple or Google, media members will find any reason to not have to respond to your pitch. They are regularly fielding hundreds of email pitches a day with a good number of them being irrelevant to their specific beat. If you want to grab their attention, make sure that you know that your pitch is relevant to them, and tell them why from the start. Tease them with a subject line that they won’t be able to resist clicking on, and give them the most important details right at the beginning of the email. Resist the urge to give them every detail and pick the top 2 or 3 points that you want to make. If you can’t do that, you shouldn’t be pitching this to begin with.

 

  1. Metrics Maketh Media Relations

 

Large publications like TechCrunch and Engadget have long been the golden standard for Tech PR success solely on the basis of their high readerships. However, we’re discovering that smaller, more targeted publications are driving a more significant impact on sales and social engagement compared to the big leagues. For example, one of our music tech clients saw more social engagement and purchases as a result of placements in music industry publications compared to the larger and broader consumer electronics publications. You should be paying attention to how much traction you’re getting from different publications types, and maybe not spend hours securing a TechCrunch opp that will net your brand a minimal impact on your key metrics.

 

  1. Timing is Everything

 

It goes without saying that you probably should not make a major announcement on the day of a new iPhone launch… right? Media today are more strapped for time than ever before with the number of brands and publicists growing and their editorial rooms shrinking. You simply cannot send a press release out on launch day and expect to get instant media coverage. In order to ensure a good volume of coverage on launch day, you will need to send information under embargo, giving media the news in advance. If you can do that the day before, great. A week before? Fantastic. By all means, still send the press release out on launch day to your tier 2 targets, but if you can’t seed the news under embargo to your top targets, expect to have a steep hill to climb to get coverage.

 

  1. Don’t Be Annoying

 

In this scenario, I’m assuming you thoroughly researched the contact and made sure he/she was the right fit for the pitch. If you haven’t received a response after a few days, you can send a follow-up. A third follow-up is pushing it, and you should only do that well after a week from your previous follow-up has passed. If you haven’t heard back, take a hint and the L. Too many follow-ups could cost you a media relationship that will prevent you from getting future coverage. Media relationships are the ultimate standard of quality when it comes to individual agencies and PR practitioners.

 

  1. Be Human

 

One of the most important things to keep in mind when talking to media is to remember that there is another person at other the end of the line with their own personality and interests. Your pitches should touch upon different aspects of the person you’re pitching. Use their social media accounts as points of reference for their interests. No, this isn’t stalking. Media expect you to understand their needs and going the extra mile to serve them something up that makes them feel acknowledged as a person might just be the one thing that lands you your next big article.

 

The PR field is a complex, often nebulous world that is ever-evolving and never the same thing twice. However, these key pieces of advice will always be important in your outreach efforts and ensure that you’re able to land your next big hit.

 

Interested in learning more about PR best practices? Email us at bizdev@maxborgesagency.com.