How to Craft a Public Relations Pitch to drive results: 5 steps public relations formula

Public relations are your secret weapon for increasing your website’s search engine optimization.

Yet, it is the most undervalued tactics by marketing professionals.

There are 2 main reasons why:

1. Many people struggle to write a public relations pitch that stand out in a reporter’s inbox or piques an editor’s interest enough to even reply.

2. And then, most people do not know what to do with the ensuing covering to make it worth their efforts.

But those 2 obstacles can be easily overcome by putting in place a plan to seed and nurture a public relations campaign, and by then maximizing the results.

In helping out many clients, we have come to a formula that works incredibly well to increase SEO results from any public relations campaign.

5 steps public relations formula

1. Begin with your priority keywords.

2. Identify media outlets that rank well for your keywords.

3. Create top quality owned content relating to your keywords.

4. Craft your own pitch, to show your thought leadership.

5. Optimize your articles with anchor text.

Begin with Your Precedence Key Words

Use the keywords that you are focusing on for your company as a starting point to turn them in a statement which can be used as a headline to get a high-level bit of content. Use the Google Keyword Planner or another keyword research tool to make sure your headline reflects a phrase for which people are searching, and will work for the rest of this process.

Once you’ve refined 10 keyword phrases you want to focus your content around, you’re ready to move on to the second step.

Identify Top Media Outlets Covering Your Subject

Using a Google search, look-up your keyword phrases and find which high-traffic websites and media sites your crowd visits.

Those websites are where you need to earn links from to raise your domain name power and to drive qualified visitors to your website.

To prioritize your media outlets, use tools like Moz toolbar to obtain each site’s domain authority.

You will want to focus on obtaining links back to your website from domains with higher authority than yours.

Plan a Content Strategy

Here, the goal is to make sure your earned media ties into your owned content

In order to do so, your content needs to live on your company blog. In our experience, it is best to write two to three blog posts on your primary keyword phrase (like for example: How to build a Media Contact list.)

For each of the blog posts, identify three contributed content ideas to pitch to publications, and three to pitch to blogs.

For each of the identified blogs or media outlets, you will pitch an idea related to one of the topics you included in your content for publication on your company blog.

These are broad topics that correspond to the “media contact” keyword phrase.

Once you’ve completed your media relations outreach, you will have six higher domain websites pointing back to content on your blog.

Craft a Private Pitch

To craft a personal pitch you’ll need to have spent some time building relationships with the reporters or bloggers you want to reach.

You can use any social listening tool to identify the influencers. You’ll want to interact with them on social media and amplify their content.

That way, when you are ready to pitch, your name will be familiar to them.

You’ll also have a much better idea of their beat and preferences.

If you haven’t done this yet, or don’t have time to do this, there are other tools like media match that does the work automatically. You feed the app any topic and it finds the relevant reporters and bloggers according to your query with samples of their writing.

Tip: In crafting your pitch, briefly outline who you are and cite your owned content as examples of your expertise and prior take on the topic. Note that you’ve seen a specific piece of content on a related topic, and would like to pitch them on your topic.

Every day, journalists receive an inbox full of pitches from people they don’t know, on topics they don’t cover. Spending the time to individually craft each pitch—instead of writing a generic pitch and spamming it out to your entire media list—will stand out.

Optimize Your Content

Once you receive coverage for your pitch or publication of your contributed content, you’ll want to include a link back to your website from a relevant anchor text.

By including this link to your site, not only will you begin to see an improvement in your domain authority over time, you now have something concrete to measure.

Branding in the digital age Social

PR can help learn about your customer

Social media makes it more important than ever to get the branding fundamentals right. Here’s a great testament of how successful Virgin Atlantic’s Facebook page is true to its brand values. The most read section of the Facebook page includes tips from crew members: communication that comes across as honest, caring and informal.

Companies that succeed on the social scene only revise the marketing playbook and do not look to rewrite it. While exploiting social media opportunities they keep focused on meeting customers’ needs.

Here are 4 basics brands should be delivering on social media:

. Offering and communicating a clear customer promise

. Building trust by delivering on it

. Continually improve on the promise

. Innovating beyond the familiar

Also, companies should focus on gaining customer insights rather than trying to sell. It is the best way to capitalize on the media’s speed and reach while protecting the brand’s reputation.

And it is always good to remember that the holy grail of social media (engagement) revolves around conversations that are usually unstructured and moderated by the participants themselves. People join in freely because they enjoy and learn from the discussion. Your company can to some extent influence the conversation but only if you are accepted by the other participants. Needless to say, the people executing the social media strategy should be at home with the social media culture as well as possessing a great knowledge of the brand values.

– Gaven Dumont

What Public Relations can learn from Transmedia storytelling

Public Relations needs to adjust to survive.

For those not familiar with the expression, «Transmedia storytelling» I’ll refer to my favorite explanation found in Henry Jenkins book: Convergence Culture. Jenkins describes transmedia storytelling as «storytelling across multiple forms of media with each element making distinctive contributions to a fan’s understanding of the story world. By using different media formats, transmedia creates “entry points” through which consumers can become immersed in a story world.» In the Public Relations universe, efforts have been made to harness the digital word or the social media scene with new iterations of the proverbial press release generally called «Social Media Release». This social release adds multimedia elements and makes it easier to share information on Twitter and Facebook amongst others. But the delivery of the news itself hasn’t evolved. It is still a written text of about 600 to 800 words accompanied with images, links, and videos. In other words, it has only been slightly adapted for the digital realm without taking into account how people use the web to share the news and the strength of various social media platforms. Hence, I would suggest that Transmedia storytelling can teach Public Relations professionals new and more effective ways to reach bloggers and the social crowd.

Offering different entry points to a story that best suits the media needs to be in the PR toolbox.

– Gaven Dumont

Creating Shared Value VS CSR Programs

Using Public Relations to reconnect with your community

Lately, business has been criticized as a major cause of social, environmental, and economic problems. In short, companies are thought to be making money at the expense of their communities. This might explain why many of them turn to Corporate Social Responsibility programs to reconnect with society. But a program that has an agenda determined by external reporting and personal preferences has limited impact. While we assume those activities reduce the harm coming from corporate activities, it does not really create value per say. Not surprisingly, CSR fatigue is starting to settle in just like green fatigue has in the media.

Enter the Share value Concept…

Michael Porter of Bishop William Lawrence University and Mark R. Kramer managing director of the social impact advisory firm FSG argue that «companies could bring business and society back together if they refine their purpose as creating a «Shared Value», generating economic value in a way that ALSO produces value for society by addressing its challenges. Firms can do this in three distinctive ways: by reconceiving products and markets, redefining productivity in the value chain, and building supportive industry clusters at the company’s locations.»
Their proposal is a shift from a financial economy to a product economy that can generate a Shared Value. A nice way to put a societal spin to the old product-driven economy.

An interesting idea that I believe has a lot of potentials.

Creating Shared Value…coming to a community near you!

– Gaven Dumont

What’s PR? UNDERSTANDING PUBLIC RELATIONS

Are you aware that even in the animal kingdom, animals have a ‘voice’, or the ‘public image maker?’ That’s the lion. Same goes with the human world, and more specifically the business world of companies and organizations. How do companies create their image and relate with the public? This is what PR – public relations, is about.

It involves the different ways through which an organization communicates with its customers and the public. PRSAinitiated a crowdsourcing campaign and public vote that produced the following definition: “Public relations is a strategic communication process that builds mutually beneficial relationships between organizations and their publics. Let’s have a deeper look into the meaning of this definition to see what PR is really and what is involves from a PR officer.

  • Public Relations is Important to Create a Public Image

Without a public relations department, no business organization can successfully represent itself in a world where there are so many channels of communications. All the major social networks, Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, Instagram are now new communication channels added to more traditional media, that needs to be used to shape your public image as well as preventing any false perception or accusation. By making use of these channels, business organizations can create their public image and inform the public on what services they provide and how they can be reached. It is important to also note that it can as well shape its public image by dissipating negative perception.

  • Public Relations focus on Communication

What stands first on the to-do list of every company or organization is the need to establish a viable and clear link between themselves and the public which includes their clients, customers, and partners. To achieve this goal, they require experienced public relations specialists who are fluent in communication. Such people must be good in both written and verbal communication skills. More so, if you work as a PR officer, you should have a good grasp on all the PR tools such as blogs, the web, newsletters, press releases, public releases, content publishing, SEO, podcasts conferences, and so on. These are the media through which organizations establish relationships with their potential investors and the stakeholders at large.

  • Public Relations and the Marketing Strategy

A great role that public relations can play within a marketing strategy is communicating targeted messaging to targeted groups through specific channels. It makes for a well-rounded marketing strategy that supports the advertising effort. An example is Shell Oil and Gas, one of the world’s largest oil and gas extraction and production companies. When you visit its website, you have access to newsletters and press releases, or even the speeches of the CEO, Ben Van Beurden. This is NOT JUST about providing information; it is more about giving investors the inkling that they are welcome to learn more about them and follow their projects and revenues, if possible. It is a show of transparency for their demanding constituents.

In essence, you get to realize that, just as fashion allows us to send the right or desired messages about ourselves, public relations allow a company or organization to represent its values and goals in ways that project what they really are. Even governments and political groups use public relations, in the form of campaigns and propaganda to get party supporters or sympathizers who may be captivated by their ideologies and promises.

Regardless of the tool being used, when you find useful and pertinent information about a company, you can be assured that the public relations department is behind it. As opposed to the beautified spin that advertising puts on messaging, Public Relations builds mutually beneficial relationships with the public.

  • Public Relations and the Marketing Strategy  

PR tools include the following:

  • Write and distribute press releases
  • Speech writing
  • Write pitches (less formal than press releases) about a firm and send them directly to journalists
  • Create and execute special events designed for public outreach and media relations
  • Conduct market research on the firm or the firm’s messaging
  • Expansion of business contacts via personal networking or attendance and sponsoring at events
  • Writing and blogging for the web (internal or external sites)
  • Crisis public relations strategies
  • Social media promotions and responses to negative opinions online