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20 Proven PR Tips For Getting Major Publishers to Feature Your Content

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We surveyed 1,300 writers and editors to determine what's in the perfect pitch. Here's what we found.

Published in: Marketing

20 Proven PR Tips For Getting Major Publishers to Feature Your Content

  1. 1. *Source: Fractl survey of 1,300 publishers
  2. 2. TIP #1 • Do they consistently publish stories about your content’s topic? • Is the audience engaged/do they have a large social media following? Look for lots of comments/social shares. • Is it a reputable/authoritative site? PITCH THE RIGHT PUBLISHERS
  3. 3. Pitch a specific person. Look for a writer who covers your content topic most frequently at the publication. 80% OF SURVEYED PUBLISHERS SAID THEY REJECT PITCHES THAT ARE IRRELEVANT TO THEIR BEAT. PITCH THE RIGHT PERSON TIP #2
  4. 4. Invest time in crafting your subject line. It determines whether the writers open the email, and that’s the biggest hurdle of all. SPEND TIME ON YOUR SUBJECT LINE TIP #3
  5. 5. WRITE COMPELLING SUBJECT LINES • Keep it concise – 45-65 characters. • Make it specific to the writer’s beat. • Be descriptive. (But not too descriptive. Give them a reason to open your email!) TIP #4
  6. 6. Call out an engaging number or statistic from your content. These are one of the most successful types of subject lines. EXAMPLE: 76% OF HOMEOWNERS FIX THEIR OWN TOILET TRY A NUMBERS- BASED SUBJECT LINE TIP #5
  7. 7. It’s effective because of the innate human behavior that’s triggered when people discover a gap between what they know and what they want to know, prompting them to open your email. EXAMPLE: WHICH STATES HAVE THE MOST HANDY HOMEOWNERS? USE THE INFORMATION GAP TACTIC TIP #6
  8. 8. Base it on personal information you discovered about the writer via their digital footprint. Only use this for high-tier publications that may overlook other types of headlines. EXAMPLE: PERSONALIZE IT ALEX, AS A NEW HOMEOWNER, YOU’LL APPRECIATE THIS TIP #7
  9. 9. If your content has a geographical component, always take the opportunity to mention the localized findings to the recipient. Information becomes significantly more newsworthy if it’s tailored to the publisher’s area rather than just general information. LOCALIZE IT TIP #8
  10. 10. Including words and phrases like “Data Visualization,” “Study,” or “Original Maps” will help differentiate your content. DON’T mention “Infographic” – it’s become overused, and some publishers will delete an email immediately if they see “Infographic” in the subject line. NAME THE CONTENT TYPE TIP #9
  11. 11. Keep your email pitch to between 100 and 200 words. LENGTH MATTERS TIP #10
  12. 12. Hey Jack, I’m from Miami where we don’t really use trains, but I can’t imagine what traffic looked like last week in the Bay Area when 80 BART cars were pulled from service. I wonder if people were courteous enough to take your survival guide seriously. PROVE IT’S NOT A MASS PITCH TIP #11
  13. 13. With 132 million people using the BART annually, have you ever thought about its cleanliness? My team at Travelmath wanted to find out more about the germs we come in contact with while using public transportation. STRESS RELEVANCE TO THEIR READERS TIP #12
  14. 14. We looked at five major U.S. cities and found: • A dog’s chew toy is almost 40x dirtier than a BART car • BART has 50% fewer riders than the D.C. Metro, but is 15x dirtier • 85% of BART’s bacteria is associated with causing skin infections HIGHLIGHT INTERESTING/ IMPORTANT INFO TIP #13
  15. 15. With San Francisco being one of the more overcrowded cities in U.S. I’m sure your readers would be interested in knowing just how clean the BART is and how it compares to American public transit systems. Oh, and don’t forget to mention hand sanitizer. Will you feature this original study on SFist? REITERATE VALUE IN YOUR CONCLUSION TIP #14
  16. 16. Don’t include attachments; instead provide a link to the full study, project, etc. in the body or conclusion. LINK TO YOUR FULL PROJECT TIP #15
  17. 17. Particularly important for top-tier publishers, this signals that you really value their opinion and respect them. Plus, if they do end up giving feedback, it can potentially help you revamp the content or decide who might be a better fit to pitch! ASK FOR THEIR FEEDBACK TIP #16
  18. 18. Use correct spelling and grammar, and make sure you correctly spell their name and the name of their publication. 42% OF PUBLISHERS SAID THEY WOULD FLAG A PITCH AS SPAM IF THEY FOUND A SPELLING ERROR. PROOFREAD TIP #17
  19. 19. Use a tool like Boomerang, which lets you schedule out what time your pitch email is sent. 41% OF PUBLISHERS SAID THEY PREFER TO RECEIVE PITCHES EITHER OVERNIGHT OR IN THE MORNING. SEND YOUR PITCH AT THE RIGHT TIME TIP #18
  20. 20. We recommend waiting at least 2 business days to follow up. And don’t send over a quick “just following up on this!” • Provide additional angles: Call out new information from your content. • Make it timely: Point out connections between your content and a trending news topic, if possible. NO RESPONSE? SEND A MEANINGFUL FOLLOW-UP TIP #19
  21. 21. • Pass along interesting, relevant studies/data or articles • Introduce them to potential sources • Send your thoughts on a recent piece they wrote • Engage with their content (share/leave comments) MAINTAIN THE RELATIONSHI P Reach out to your writer/editor contacts even when you aren’t looking for coverage. TIP #20

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