This post was first published by Beth Brenner on March Communications’ blog PR Nonsense.
When PR firms are sending out a pitch, it’s important to tell a compelling story and know the best times to send a pitch, but you also need to make sure your pitches are relevant to the influencers and audience you want to reach.
Not every byline written or piece of news issued will be appropriate for every journalist or publication. And if you don’t pitch the right person, journalists and bloggers aren’t afraid to call you out for your mistakes.Here are three ways to ensure a meaningful, targeted approach to influencer relations:
1. Read and familiarize yourself with influencers’ work.
Demonstrate that you understand their beat(s) and recent areas of interest so you can make insightful connections to the client and story you are offering.
2. Get to know their preferences.
If a reporter rejected a pitch, consider asking what they didn’t like about one pitch or contributed article, so you can fine-tune future ones. Show that you are collaborative—check in on occasion and explore how you can help with their current project.
3. Engage them offline and online.
Suggest meeting at a tradeshow or networking session to personalize your interactions. Follow them on Twitter, and/or connect on LinkedIn to build a rapport as a trustworthy source. Try building a relationship, rather than a contact.
Looking Before You Pitch
As my colleague Doug Flora previously explained, no two journalists are alike. It’s critical to understand what stories will pique each someone’s interest and how and when a reporter prefers to be contacted.
Micro-targeted pitches are essential for standing out, especially given the fact that influencers are bombarded by emails and phone calls (and tweets) around the clock. Micro-targeting your PR pitches can help ensure your client’s story is told to the right audience at the right time… not micro-targeting could mean that the story doesn’t get told at all. In some industries, like Telecoms, knowing how to speak with the influences can make all the difference.