Link Building Through Press
Outreach
Presented by:
Rob Woods
@robdwoods
Who Am I?
• 12 years of experience in e-commerce and
affiliate marketing
• SEO, Social, and Content
• 2 years with Reinven...
Why Do Press Outreach?
Why Do Press Outreach?
•
•
•
•

One of the few true good links left
Press sites have good link equity
One link can lead to...
Caveats
• It’s hard work
• It’s lots of work and/or money
• You are going to face rejection
The Scenario
•
•
•
•

Almost no budget (but had people)
No other link building
Passive press relations
No one internally w...
Getting Ready
•
•
•
•
•

Have something to say
Be newsworthy
Be helpful
Know your stuff
Build a decent press page
Press Page
•
•
•
•
•

Basic explanation of who you are
Proof of why you are an expert
“Social” proof you are worth it
Asse...
What to Talk About
•
•
•
•
•

Leverage current events
Leverage seasonal events
Know deadlines
Site/app launches
Major even...
Finding Prospects
If you have $ …
• Vocus
– Does lots of other stuff
– Good for finding journalists, contacting,
seeing ed...
Finding Prospects
If you have $ …
•Cision
– Also good for finding journalists and being
able to contact them directly
– Ab...
Finding Prospects
• If you don’t have $...
• SERPs
• Twitter
• Backlinks
Finding Prospects - SERPs
•
•
•
•
•
•
•

Simply search for your KW
Comb through at least 10 pages
Look for articles about ...
Finding Prospects – Google News
Finding Prospects - SERPs
• Given the huge number of results in
Google narrow down by site
• “ keyword phrase” Site:exampl...
Finding Prospects – Back Links
• One place where looking at
competitors back links is useful
• Lots of good tools
• Moz Op...
After You Find the Lead
• Is the article a good lead?
• Check the date of the article
• Check if the article is original o...
After You Find the Lead
• If no contact info on page, search for
author archive on site
• If no visible author archive sea...
Information on Sources
• Find as much information as possible
on each potential contact
• Journalists or popular bloggers ...
Info to Capture
•
•
•
•

Name
Publication(s)
Website(s)
Beat(s) – Shopping, Tech, News,
Business, etc.
• Email
Info to Capture
•
•
•
•

Phone
Twitter profile page
LinkedIn profile page
Notes/Bio: Twitter bio, author page, or
just gen...
Finding Prospects - Twitter
• You’ll find many Twitter handles as
you go
Finding Prospects - Twitter
• Several good Twitter tools
• Muckrack
– $99 – 4495 / mo
– Find journalists by “beat”
– Save ...
Finding Prospects - Twitter
• Followerwonk (from Moz)
– Free
– Search twitter bios by keyword
– Export your own Twitter fo...
Followerwonk
• Search Twitter Bios
Followerwonk
• Search for phrases in quotes like
“retail reporter”, “consumer
reporter”, “consumer affairs”
• Export to Ex...
Followerwonk
• Exports just the username
• Use “concatenate” function in Excel to
add Twitter URL to make link to profile
Followerwonk
•
•
•
•

Follow reporters
Tweet, Retweet, Engage
If they follow back use this to DM
Check bios for email addr...
Followerwonk
• Mine your own followers (if you have a
lot)
• Export to Excel
• Search for KW in bio – reporter, writer,
et...
Other Sources of Leads
• All newspapers and TV affiliates
www.abyznewslinks.com
• Media Type, Media Focus, Link, Geo
Regio...
Other Sources of Leads

• http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_newsp
• http://www.ebizmba.com/articles/news-we

• http://l...
Organize Your Lists
• Organize by type of outreach
• Good target is the most syndicated
• High value = individual email, l...
Doing the Outreach
•
•
•
•
•
•

Be useful
Be timely
Be pithy
Be available
Don’t be afraid to give away the farm
Respond qu...
Doing the Outreach - Email
• Intro email – 4-5 weeks out
• Second email – 3 weeks out (ish)
– More info
– Help them write ...
Pitchbox
• www.pitchbox.com
• Research and outreach
• Project management
The Interview(s)
• Be prepared for written, phone, Skype,
even live
• Make (and use) notes
• Know your stuff
• Be professi...
The Interview(s)
• Get media training or public speaking
experience
• PRACTICE
• Bend over backwards
• Have unique data or...
The Interview(s)

• ASK FOR THE LINK
Follow Up
•
•
•
•
•
•

Check for the link
Ask again if you didn’t get it
Search for syndication
Record when, where, who, e...
Press Releases
• Still a legit way to attract the press
• Don’t do them for links, do them for
attention
• Same type of in...
Who Shouldn’t Do PR?
• Kinda like other link building now
• Be remarkable, valuable, insightful
first
• Have something wor...
Did It Work?
• Last year resulted in at least 40
interviews and 80 links
• CNN, WSJ, Today.com, CNBC, Fox
News, LA Times, ...
Summary
•
•
•
•
•

Have something to say
Invest $ or time in good research
Organize your outreach
Give a great interview
F...
Thank You!
Bonus Slides 
Tools and Resources
•www.scraperr.com (promo code pubcon2013)
•www.pitchbox.com
•www.moz.com
•www.majestic....
Bonus Slides 
•
•
•
•
•

www.abyznewslinks.com
www.vocus.com
www.cision.com
www.odesk.com
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_n...
Contact Me
Rob Woods
rob@robwoods.org
@robdwoods
Link Building Through Press Outreach - Pubcon Vegas 2013
Link Building Through Press Outreach - Pubcon Vegas 2013
Link Building Through Press Outreach - Pubcon Vegas 2013
Link Building Through Press Outreach - Pubcon Vegas 2013
Link Building Through Press Outreach - Pubcon Vegas 2013
Link Building Through Press Outreach - Pubcon Vegas 2013
Link Building Through Press Outreach - Pubcon Vegas 2013
Link Building Through Press Outreach - Pubcon Vegas 2013
Link Building Through Press Outreach - Pubcon Vegas 2013
Link Building Through Press Outreach - Pubcon Vegas 2013
Link Building Through Press Outreach - Pubcon Vegas 2013
Link Building Through Press Outreach - Pubcon Vegas 2013
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Link Building Through Press Outreach - Pubcon Vegas 2013

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This session will address how to prepare a press outreach campaign, which tools and sites to use to build the press list, what works for social and email outreach to the press, how to prepare yourself for the press interview process, and how to monitor and follow-up on the campaign.

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  • Mention this mostly to give you an idea of where I’m coming from. The main site I ran for Reinvent was www.blackfriday.com. That’s the site where I did most of the development of this press outreach and will be the example I quote most often. I’m doing this same type of outreach for two more sites this fall including a former competitor.
  • With Penguin/guest blogging warnings, traditional “easy” link building is going away. This is one of the remaining truly legit ways to gain links that should remain pretty bullet proof for the foreseeable future.
  • You can be an “expert” in almost anything – large topics, specialized knowledge, local knowledge – but you need to know what you are talking about. If you are doing this for someone else you are going to need to know their business and spend time interviewing them.
  • Major events are not “we’ve launched a new product” unless you are Apple, Sony, EA, etc. It’s not we’ve redesigned our site.
  • Not taking about HARO which I think most people know about by now.
  • Keywords (phrase): This is simply searching for high level keyword phrases on Google that are related to your topic area. I recommend using double quotes to search for phrases such as “black Friday” including the “ characters. This allows for find results only where the words black and Friday appear together. From there the process is to comb the results looking for likely targets to approach.
    Scraperr.com scrapes the top 500 results. More are available. He launched it Sunday.
  • Authorship markup also gives you links to G+ profiles where you might be able to get contact info
  • What is the subject of the article? Is it favorable or speaking out against your subject matter.
    Check the date of the article (if possible). Articles written in 2006 for example are less likely to still have the same author writing on the same topic
    Check if the article is original or a reprint. Many news outlets re-publish articles from the AP or Reuters. Look for author contact info on the originating site, not the republishing site.
  • If you can’t find contact info you may have to do some detective work.
    If no author archive is available search Google for “author name”. Many authors have personal blogs or sites with contact emails available. As a default if no other contact info can be found look for the Twitter profile page. Be sure to check the Twitter bio to confirm that the person is the correct one.
    I’ve used scrapebox for this but only works on smallish sites.
  • Usually, and journalist or popular blogger will receive a large number of inquiries and suggestions and to be successful we need either a very compelling story, a more effective initial contact, or ideally both. By finding out a little personal information on a particular writer it allows us to customize and personalize the initial contact we make to them.
  • I store all this info in an excel sheet for easy sorting, categorization, flagging, etc.
  • As an example of a possible way to get the attention of a writer, one writer I was researching is from New York but is a fan of the Canucks; knowing that we can target her with a personalized contact.
  • There will be lots of results
  • Not all will pay attention or follow back but some will. I scored maybe 4-5 interviews this way.
  • * In some industries is seems like every other bio contains “blogger” searching for that can lead to a LOT of unqualified results
  • These pages copy and paste really nicely into Excel for filtering and sorting
  • Wikipedia is top 100 newspapers
    Last one is latino, which brings up a good point, if your products are focused on that demo or you can converse in Spanish
  • I had a list of 5000 for instance. Most will not have a list that big.
  • Did not get much response from the first email. It was intended more for familiarity. Did get a bit, especially broadcast (radio, local news)
    More info: who you are and why you know what you are talking about. Data, trends, anything that would take a lot of time and research for them
    If this is something you cannot “plan” then I’d go straight to second email.
  • This is not a paid endorsement. I only received beta access and a couple of months free. I am using it to some effect.
  • Website based so you can’t yet import a list of email addresses. That’s coming.
    You can import a list of domains though.
  • Notes: specific examples, data, etc. Also to remember specific points you want to hit about your company
    Professional – “shock jock” tried to suck my into some less than appropriate stuff
    Flexible – 5 min interview at 8 pm, turned into 20 minute interview (radio)
    Know your stuff – You HAVE to know more than the reporter. This can be tough for PR pros hired to do interviews.
  • Experience (speak at conferences or local meetups, toastmasters, do lunch and learns at work)
    Bend over backwards (get interviewees, create assets, offer images, etc)
  • Doesn’t matter if the interview is radio, local newspaper, TV… always ask where the interview will be published, when, and can you get a link back
    TV and radio can be tough. TV esp. seems to 404 older pages and the link dies but still worth it even if the link is temporary and all you get is branding or traffic
  • Does not hurt to ask. This outlet though enough of your company to interview you and publish it. These are LEGIT links!
    You “may” have to ask an editor.
    Don’t be obnoxious about it, you may want to keep this relationship for the future. A citation is better than just traffic, and just traffic is better than nothing.
  • I got probably 4-6 interviews / articles from 2 releases.
  • Tough to always know if the article came from outreach. Many I reached out to wrote about us but did not have an interview.
  • Scraperr - if they see an option for an invite code, to use pubcon2013...they'll get preferential access to next round of testing and access.
  • Link Building Through Press Outreach - Pubcon Vegas 2013

    1. 1. Link Building Through Press Outreach Presented by: Rob Woods @robdwoods
    2. 2. Who Am I? • 12 years of experience in e-commerce and affiliate marketing • SEO, Social, and Content • 2 years with Reinvent one of the largest domainers in the world • Run my own consulting business
    3. 3. Why Do Press Outreach?
    4. 4. Why Do Press Outreach? • • • • One of the few true good links left Press sites have good link equity One link can lead to many links Don’t just focus on link equity, traffic is good too, so are citations • Not just for big, national sites
    5. 5. Caveats • It’s hard work • It’s lots of work and/or money • You are going to face rejection
    6. 6. The Scenario • • • • Almost no budget (but had people) No other link building Passive press relations No one internally with experience
    7. 7. Getting Ready • • • • • Have something to say Be newsworthy Be helpful Know your stuff Build a decent press page
    8. 8. Press Page • • • • • Basic explanation of who you are Proof of why you are an expert “Social” proof you are worth it Assets writers might need Contact info
    9. 9. What to Talk About • • • • • Leverage current events Leverage seasonal events Know deadlines Site/app launches Major events
    10. 10. Finding Prospects If you have $ … • Vocus – Does lots of other stuff – Good for finding journalists, contacting, seeing editorial calendars – $800 + per month – www.vocus.com
    11. 11. Finding Prospects If you have $ … •Cision – Also good for finding journalists and being able to contact them directly – About $1K / Year – www.cision.com/
    12. 12. Finding Prospects • If you don’t have $... • SERPs • Twitter • Backlinks
    13. 13. Finding Prospects - SERPs • • • • • • • Simply search for your KW Comb through at least 10 pages Look for articles about your subject Automate or Outsource oDesk Scraperr.com Scrapebox
    14. 14. Finding Prospects – Google News
    15. 15. Finding Prospects - SERPs • Given the huge number of results in Google narrow down by site • “ keyword phrase” Site:example.com – eg. “Black Friday” site:cnn.com – “cyber Monday” site:mashable.com
    16. 16. Finding Prospects – Back Links • One place where looking at competitors back links is useful • Lots of good tools • Moz Open Explorer, Majestic, Ahrefs, LinkResearchTools • Look for same info as in SERPs
    17. 17. After You Find the Lead • Is the article a good lead? • Check the date of the article • Check if the article is original or a reprint • Look for contact info on page • Order of preferred contact: Email, Twitter, LinkedIn, phone, G+
    18. 18. After You Find the Lead • If no contact info on page, search for author archive on site • If no visible author archive search “author name” Site:example.com • If no author archive is available search Google for “author name” • Make sure the author still works that beat
    19. 19. Information on Sources • Find as much information as possible on each potential contact • Journalists or popular bloggers get tons of inquiries • More info lets you personalize the contact
    20. 20. Info to Capture • • • • Name Publication(s) Website(s) Beat(s) – Shopping, Tech, News, Business, etc. • Email
    21. 21. Info to Capture • • • • Phone Twitter profile page LinkedIn profile page Notes/Bio: Twitter bio, author page, or just general notes
    22. 22. Finding Prospects - Twitter • You’ll find many Twitter handles as you go
    23. 23. Finding Prospects - Twitter • Several good Twitter tools • Muckrack – $99 – 4495 / mo – Find journalists by “beat” – Save lists, create alerts
    24. 24. Finding Prospects - Twitter • Followerwonk (from Moz) – Free – Search twitter bios by keyword – Export your own Twitter followers
    25. 25. Followerwonk • Search Twitter Bios
    26. 26. Followerwonk • Search for phrases in quotes like “retail reporter”, “consumer reporter”, “consumer affairs” • Export to Excel • Sort • Prune
    27. 27. Followerwonk • Exports just the username • Use “concatenate” function in Excel to add Twitter URL to make link to profile
    28. 28. Followerwonk • • • • Follow reporters Tweet, Retweet, Engage If they follow back use this to DM Check bios for email addresses – add to “email” list
    29. 29. Followerwonk • Mine your own followers (if you have a lot) • Export to Excel • Search for KW in bio – reporter, writer, etc.* • Search the URL field - abc, nbc, cbs, fox, press, times, news, etc.
    30. 30. Other Sources of Leads • All newspapers and TV affiliates www.abyznewslinks.com • Media Type, Media Focus, Link, Geo Region – Country, State, City, County, Region • Go to each site and look for best contact
    31. 31. Other Sources of Leads • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_newsp • http://www.ebizmba.com/articles/news-we • http://latinocommunication.pbworks.com/w
    32. 32. Organize Your Lists • Organize by type of outreach • Good target is the most syndicated • High value = individual email, letter, call • Lower Value = bulk email • No email = Twitter only -> DM or engage
    33. 33. Doing the Outreach • • • • • • Be useful Be timely Be pithy Be available Don’t be afraid to give away the farm Respond quickly
    34. 34. Doing the Outreach - Email • Intro email – 4-5 weeks out • Second email – 3 weeks out (ish) – More info – Help them write the story – Goal is for them just to need a “sound bite” • Third Email – 7-10 days out
    35. 35. Pitchbox • www.pitchbox.com • Research and outreach • Project management
    36. 36. The Interview(s) • Be prepared for written, phone, Skype, even live • Make (and use) notes • Know your stuff • Be professional • Be flexible with your time • Have a place to conduct interviews
    37. 37. The Interview(s) • Get media training or public speaking experience • PRACTICE • Bend over backwards • Have unique data or insight they can’t get anywhere else
    38. 38. The Interview(s) • ASK FOR THE LINK
    39. 39. Follow Up • • • • • • Check for the link Ask again if you didn’t get it Search for syndication Record when, where, who, etc. Save articles (screen cap, PDF, etc) Use Google alerts, monitoring to watch
    40. 40. Press Releases • Still a legit way to attract the press • Don’t do them for links, do them for attention • Same type of info as email outreach • Must be newsworthy
    41. 41. Who Shouldn’t Do PR? • Kinda like other link building now • Be remarkable, valuable, insightful first • Have something worth writing about • Have enough time • Be able to make the writer look good
    42. 42. Did It Work? • Last year resulted in at least 40 interviews and 80 links • CNN, WSJ, Today.com, CNBC, Fox News, LA Times, Toronto Star, Chicago Tribune, ZDNet • Many local radio and TV • Green Bay Press Gazette, Sacramento Bee…
    43. 43. Summary • • • • • Have something to say Invest $ or time in good research Organize your outreach Give a great interview Follow-up
    44. 44. Thank You!
    45. 45. Bonus Slides  Tools and Resources •www.scraperr.com (promo code pubcon2013) •www.pitchbox.com •www.moz.com •www.majestic.com •www.ahrefs.com •www.linkresearchtools.com •www.muckrack.com •www.followerwonk.com
    46. 46. Bonus Slides  • • • • • www.abyznewslinks.com www.vocus.com www.cision.com www.odesk.com en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_newspapers_in_the_U nited_States_by_circulation • www.ebizmba.com/articles/news-websites • latinocommunication.pbworks.com/w/page/151174 16/Hispanic%20media%20in%20the%20United %20States
    47. 47. Contact Me Rob Woods rob@robwoods.org @robdwoods
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