Do Your Homework If You Want Great Media Coverage

(DGIwire) — If you own a business and have never gotten around to hiring a professional team to help promote you, the “Do it Yourself” (DIY) concept may seem unwieldy. As we all know, the media world is vast and consists of innumerable journalists and publications, as well as social media and the blogosphere. The term “blogger” may rouse some suspicion, especially if you’re not of the millennial generation, but there are actually many legit influential digital reporters and bloggers who can get you the attention you and your company need and deserve.

Digital media and blogger outreach requires a lot more than a cursory Google search if you want to be successful and avoid unnecessary trouble. It requires research, industry knowledge and optimization. Here are some hands-on tips to help you get started with your digital reporter and blogger outreach efforts from the strategic visibility experts at DGI Content Loft. You may not want to do all this yourself, but if and when you work with a PR firm, you should know that this is what they ideally should be doing for you:

  1. Target the right bloggers: Aligning your company with the right bloggers is the first step. To do this, you will need to invest some time in research the digital media and blogosphere landscape. Log into your favorite websites and social media channels and search. Put in a couple of your industry key words and see whose names come up.  Do not proceed with ANY contacting…until you read Step # 2!
  1. Do homework before testing: Wise people do some homework before reaching out to a blogger. Most don’t take a test until they do some studying. The same goes with contacting a blogger or digital reporter, or for that matter, a traditional reporter. Do your research or skip this step at your own peril!!!  Once you’ve identified reporters to contact, make sure your enthusiasm is warranted. Carefully read at least a few of their articles in full. Scan all their headlines.  Note the writers tone.  Ask yourself: Are their blog posts in line with your goals? Is their tone reflective of your brand?  This is important! Don’t assume that just because someone has followers that they are your best messenger. Often this is not the case. Suppose the writer drops the F-bomb every other word. Would this offend your customers? Suppose their blog is built on scathing exposes.  Could your company be next? The time spent vetting a reporter –whether they write for a traditional media outlet or a blogger is the best investment you can make. The DGI team says they have seen far too many executives willingly enter the lion’s den…all because somebody ignored this important step. Assess writing, style, topics and which brands the reporter is featuring. This will help you to gauge whether the outlet is appropriate.
  1. Get Personal: Keep the “social graces” in your social media. Every reporter has a name, so use it! We’ve all been on the receiving end of impersonal mass emails. They don’t inspire opens! When you write your initial email, you should start by establishing common ground. Respectfully mention some of their work and how the story you’re proposing might build on their body of knowledge. Here is your chance to let the reporter know that you’ve read their previous posts and you think your company/product/service would be a good fit for their outlet.
  1. Pitch uniquely: Every pitch should be customized, depending on your end goal, which reporters you’re talking to and what industry you are featuring. If you have a very specific campaign for which you’re enlisting digital media, bloggers or traditional media– IF  you’ve done your targeting properly, you will increase the likelihood of interest. Keep the email concise, clear and professional.  Begin with the issue and move on to explaining why their readers would want to know about your solution, opinion, idea, or whatever you are offering.
  1. Don’t quit: If your initial outreach is not rewarded with an interview or story, don’t quit. Review your list and pitch. Make sure you’re targeting the right outlets and people. Try different styles in your letters. Test subject lines. Just don’t quit. Consider your own email box and remember how many emails you receive. Multiply that a few hundred times and you might be close to understanding the inbox of a reporter.

Top journalists, digital reporters and bloggers are constantly inundated with requests for features,” say the public relations specialists at DGI. “If you’re having difficulty targeting the ones you want, or are not sure how to make yourself stand out from the crowd, you might want to enlist a professional PR team to help you.”

DGI, is an award-winning content creation and news placement agency based in New York City. They bring a collective of many decades of experience that has helped a wide range of clients—from multinational corporations to creative individuals—establish their brands and make them more visible to traditional media outlets, digital media and the entire blogosphere. “A feature on a well-targeted blog has the potential to drum up a lot of buzz for your company,” says DGI president, Dian Griesel.

Are you ready to take that first big step?