Latest > A guide to press outreach

11th Apr 2024

5 min read

A guide to press outreach

In the dynamic world of public relations, effective press outreach is a key cornerstone for building brand awareness, as well as reinforcing credibility through the power of positive media coverage. At Eden we have been doing this for decades and we’re experts in crafting value-driven and thorough press outreach strategies.

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll delve into the whys behind successful press outreach, as well as providing the tools to help you navigate the intricate landscape of media relations.

What is press outreach?
By definition, Public Relations (PR) is the strategic communication process that builds mutually beneficial relationships between organisations and target audiences. Press outreach, a crucial component of PR, focuses on establishing connections with journalists, editors, and media outlets to secure meaningful and influential media coverage.

Through the reinforcement of positive news stories about a company or business, the integration of it and its awareness can slowly start to increase – not bad when there can be countless competitors all shouting in the same space about how great they are!

Effective press outreach involves storytelling, relationship-building, and strategic communication to ensure your brand or message resonates with the intended audience. It’s about crafting compelling narratives that capture the attention of journalists and create a progressive, forward-thinking perception of your brand.

There is often nothing worse than supplying media contacts with non-newsworthy stories. It can lead to frustration on their side, and marks the sender as an unreliable source. The next time a contact needs an on-the-day comment for a story they will be less likely to choose you.

So, that’s press outreach, but how do you put that theory into practice? Here’s our step-by-step guide…

Define your goals and objectives
Before diving into press outreach, clearly define and set out your goals and objectives. Whether it is launching a new product, the announcement of a significant milestone, or positioning your company as an industry thought leader, having clear goals will lead your entire outreach strategy.

It will help focus activity on achieving these objectives, rather than aimlessly swinging for pieces of media coverage.

Identify your target media
In tandem with succinct goals and objectives, is understanding that your target audience is crucial when it comes to identifying the right media outlets. Research publications, blogs, and journalists who cover topics relevant to your industry. Consider the demographics and interests of your audience, to effectively tailor your outreach efforts.

Build strong relationships
Establishing relationships with key journalists is essential for successful press outreach. Follow them on social media, engage with their content, and attend industry events to make personal connections.

Building rapport over time increases the likelihood of your pitches being considered, and again sets up key levels of trust that you can supply a reporter with the goods, when the time comes.

Craft compelling pitches
Create concise, engaging pitches that highlight the newsworthiness of your story. Clearly articulate the key points of your story, including the who, what, when, where, why, and how. Tailor each pitch to the specific journalist or outlet, demonstrating that you understand their audience..

Offer journalists exclusives, to help your pitch stand out, and work with them on offering extra quotes that might provide them with the hook they require.

Fully utilise multimedia
Enhance your pitches with multimedia elements such as images, videos, or infographics. Visual content not only makes your pitch more appealing but also provides journalists with ready-made assets to use for their coverage of your story.

Quality videos and imagery can often be the tipping point for reporters who might be somewhat interested in your story.

Monitor media trends
Stay informed about current media hooks and trending topics in your industry. Aligning your pitches with trending subjects increases the likelihood of your story gaining traction. It also helps to know your audience. Research what your contacts have been writing about lately, and offer them stories of relevance.

And last, but certainly not least, there are a number of external tools that are on-hand to provide assistance when it comes to press outreach:

Media monitoring tools
Media monitoring tools help to track mentions of your brand, industry, or competitors across the internet. Tools such as Google Alerts or Talkwalker provide real-time alerts. This helps you keep on top of any media coverage your pitching receives, and you can then adjust your press outreach strategy accordingly.

Media databases
Comprehensive media databases are a timesaver. They collate relevant email and telephone contact details for journalists, whether they work for a national newspaper, or a trade website. Without a correct contact, you are going to struggle with making an impact on the vast media landscape. If subscribing to a relevant database isn’t possible, then having a look on social media platforms for the relevant journalists’ contact information is a good starting point.

Social media requests
…which leads us nicely onto social media requests. Journalists often use social media platforms to put out requests for content. It could be a specific comment request, or just general calls for stories – it really depends on the individual need they have. Twitter/X is always a good place to start, and some of the strongest story opportunities often start with a tweet asking for help using hashtags such as, ‘#prrequest’ or ‘#journorequest’. Likewise, if you have a really strong story, you can put out a call with a brief blurb of your pitch, and journalists may well come to you, if they are intrigued.

If you want to explore what press outreach can do for your business, don’t hesitate to get in touch with the media relations team at Eden. Contact us at enquiries@edenpr.co.uk or call 01159588850 to set up an exploratory meeting.

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Written by

Conor Davies

Ever since he began crafting football match reports at the age of 7, Conor has always had a passion for writing and creating strong pieces of content. The feeling of landing a huge piece of coverage, too, always goes down well.

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