Digital PR & Outreach

Secrets of successful outreach

by on 19th September 2016

As part of our focus on promoting content to publishers, we interviewed two of our outreach specialists at Builtvisible, Emily and Jennifer.

Aiming to mine the secrets of their success, we quizzed them on exactly how they win journalists over, build links and gain exposure for our clients.

See what they had to say in this short film or read the transcript below:

What is outreach exactly?

Jennifer
“So, outreach is essentially digital PR. We work together with editors and journalists to generate ideas, create content and gain coverage and visibility for our clients.”

What role does outreach play in creative content planning?

Emily
“For us, the whole creative process starts with outreach, so right from the beginning of a campaign we’ll ask ourselves: how are we going to outreach this? ”

“When we sit round a table together coming up with creative ideas, outreach will always be at the centre of that. We build our creative concepts with our audience – journalists and bloggers – in mind, so will continually ask ourselves: How are we going to pitch this?”

“We’ll start with a round of preliminary research: contacting journalists at publications that either we already have relationships with or publications that we know our clients really value. We’ll share our ideas with them and try and get a bit of dialogue going, gain their opinions and feedback. Maybe they have some suggestions for formats or things they’d particularly like to see. That will help us refine our ideas, make sure we know that it’s a good idea and feel confident that we’ve got something concrete to work with.”

“Ultimately, this all means that once the piece is ready and we’re going into the final outreach stage, we can almost guarantee coverage from these publications.”

What advice would you give someone new to outreach?

Emily
“Start building out a list of who you’re going to contact – there are loads of different options here. You can go down the data route and make sure you’re looking at things like Buzzsumo and Twitter to find influencers within that topic area.”

“Alternatively you can go from publication to publication and read through journailists previous articles, look at their style, and see if they have shared the type of content you’re pitching before. The aim of this activity is to find out what journalists are interested in and what they like to talk about.”

Jennifer
“Be really short and sweet with your messaging and tailor it to who you’re sending it to. Also, just be yourself. Don’t try to hide behind big words, keep it simple.”

Any favourite outreach experiences?

Emily
“I once worked with a Canadian client on a piece about local restaurants, aiming to gain coverage in a local newspaper. The approach was so good we ended up with coverage on the local news channel. So, yeah, TV coverage is quite cool.”

Jennifer
“It’s always fun when journalists actually get in touch with us and ask us if we have anything new that we’ve produced. That kind of thing gives us confirmation that what we do is really good quality and that they like the topics we raise.”

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