If you’re thinking about pitching yourself to the media, you’re on a great track for earning more brand recognition and increasing exposure in your ideal publications. However, you must recognize that your pitch is competing with others that are crowding an editor’s busy inbox. A successful pitch is one that is carefully crafted with a great amount of strategic planning behind the chosen direction.
We often hear about things to consider when pitching yourself to the media: identifying the right beat, tracking down the right editor, reviewing recent topics, and other basics. While all of these things are crucial to a great pitch, the media is always shifting which means there is a whole host of new aspects you should consider in your public relations efforts.
Here’s a look at three things to look for in a media outlet that you likely weren’t considering.
Frequency of posting
With so many media platforms making changes to their procedures (and some even dropping out of the market), you’ll want to have a good idea of how regularly an outlet posts content. If you’re seeing a drop in features as a whole, understand that it will be far more competitive to get picked up—that’s just the way the numbers go. If that drop is noticeably significant, there could be more going on behind the scenes that doesn’t bode well for pitches.
This goes for social media posts, too. If, say, you want to pitch a print magazine, you’ll want to rely heavily on social media shares to increase your web traffic and follower count. But if the social media profile has gone quiet, you might need to consider looking to another publication.
In our office, we’ve made it standard practice to check wedding blogs and magazines before pitching to ensure that they are still posting regularly. If they are not, we typically adjust our strategy and pitch elsewhere.
Type of content
The Internet is always changing and, in that, the way blogs monetize on content has changed over the past several years. We’ve seen a big uptick in the number of brand partnerships showing up on top industry publications, which means media outlets are looking to gain more capital from the content on their sites.
Before pitching, review your ideal publications to see if their newer posts are editorial (read: free) or if they are leaning toward the pay-to-play advertorial option. Both are excellent ways to earn SEO benefits, brand recognition, and site clicks, but you will want to know whether their content still fits into your strategy.
Some outlets have even limited their features strictly to advertisers, so keep an eye out for recurring names and brands. Dig around their site—you can often find more information about submissions and advertising from About, Contact, or Media pages.
Additionally, we’ve seen some historically wedding and event publications slowly evolve to include other verticals, like parenthood, travel, or other general lifestyle topics. While they may still cover event-related content on their site, you’ll want to gauge how much attention that beat is getting on a regular basis. When sites diversify in this way, they often cut back in other areas, in which case pitching will be far more competitive.
Type of links
If SEO is a priority for your press efforts, you need to first make sure that your desired media outlets will give you the return you are looking for. Not all links are created equally—some sites use no-follow links which will connect users to your website, but do not create the valuable backlinks treasured in the SEO world. There are several simple ways to see what type of link a URL is. Check out your favorite publications to see how they treat company links. For the most part, you can bet that a website is not going to change the way they do (or do not) link brands. That leaves it to you to determine whether the effort is worthwhile for the feature.
Of course, you’ll also want to stay abreast of any company news released by industry publications. Situations like mergers, closings, and new leadership often has a major impact on how their editorial processes work, so keep your ear to the ground and remain informed.
It all boils down to finding the media outlets that are the very best fit for your publicity needs. Don’t lose sight of your strategy and long-term goals, and always ask yourself if an outlet seems like the right channel to reach your target audience.