Who Should I Outreach My Press Release to?

How to pick media targets and the reasonings behind them

The success of a Digital PR campaign is rooted in targeting the right people to share your story with. The outreach phase of a Digital PR campaign is the final, and possibly one of the most important stages, as you can have a strong campaign idea, but it is the execution of circulating that story that makes all the difference. Targeting the most relevant journalists will give you a greater chance of pickup, and this blog will explore how to select your media targets in order to guarantee success.

Define your goals and idea of success

Defining goals and targets for your PR strategy from the get-go will help you identify exactly what it is both you and your clients need to achieve from your campaign. Think about what your idea of success will look like – whether it is furthering brand awareness by getting your story placed in front of a wider audience, or securing high-quality backlinks in high-ranking media publications to boost site authority – and consider the best media targets that will help you achieve this. Goals such as these will also help you measure your success accurately and communicate this to your clients.

As mentioned above, define your main KPIs in order to determine which publications are best to target to deliver the best results. Does your client want to boost their portfolio or get greater exposure for their products and services to become a leading voice in their sector – if this is the case, then consider the titles that are interested in expert commentary and have a significant reach.

Does the client require an integrated tech SEO strategy as a part of the PR campaign to boost traffic to their site or product pages? Then consider the publications that do link and the ones that do not – target the publication with a large online presence that can vouch for your client.

It is important to define what success looks like before moving on to the next stage of your PR strategy.

Define your target audience

Defining your target audience is at the root of creating a relevant media list. This process is twofold: a brand’s client base and the audience of publications you are outreaching to. Reaching the right people will boost traffic to a website and increase conversions.

Use existing market research to establish a brand’s audience, looking at factors such as, but not limited to, age and geographical demographic, purchasing history and gender. Creating content that is relevant for this audience, and outreaching to publications that share these types of stories and insights will further exposure and authority in front of the right people.

Define who you want to reach with your story and where that audience consumes their media. The more clearly you understand this, the better you’ll be able to define which publications will help you achieve this at the next stage.

Define your target publications and journalists

After the initial content creation is completed, PRs still have a task on their hands in transporting their campaign to a targeted audience through the media – but this process is made easier by doing your research into the relevant journalist and publications that you should be outreaching to.

There needs to be synergy between your target publications and audience, so it’s important that the content of your press release is relevant to the news outlets you are targeting and that the hook of your campaign will appeal to both the journalist and their readers. In a saturated PR industry, getting journalists to pay attention to your story is vital, so targeting the right media outlets that create content tailored to your industry is so important to break through the noise. If your story isn’t necessarily relevant to that publication, you will run the risk of it getting lost in their overflowing inbox.

Consider the publications that cover similar topics that you are creating your campaigns around. Look at what journalists are talking about your topic currently in the media and curate your media list carefully to handpick the ones that are most likely to pick up and publish your content. There are different tools that facilitate this, such as Roxhill, which will allow you to research journalists’ current roles, interests, and headlines.

If you’re integrating a tech SEO strategy in your Digital PR campaigns, then it’s also worth considering which publications will include backlinks to your client’s site or webpages in order to boost brand authority and generate further referring pages to improve overall site health.

Create your targeted media list

Now we’re at the stage of finally putting our media list together. There are different ways in which PRs collate this information, using tools such as Excel, Google sheets and Buzzstream. Whichever platform you prefer, organising your media list will allow you to have full clarity of who you are outreaching.

It’s beneficial to include all information, such as the journalist’s contact details, including name, email address and phone number, the publication they write for, and the topics that their articles usually cover. This will allow you to return to your media list and access all necessary information for future relevant stories and outreach.

Creating a full media list will also allow you to consider important factors of the outreach stage. Are you offering exclusives, where selected publications have access to your story before sending it anywhere else? If so, organise these journalists to the top of your list and keep track once outreach is completed. Buzzstream is ideal for this as it allows you to track who you have outreached your story to, journalists’ opens and how outreach is going. You can also create a ‘plan B’ list for a second wave of outreach which can give your story an extra boost across the media once you have targeted your prioritised publications.

If you’re interested in hearing more about how the Digital PR team at Embryo can help your brand break through the noise in the media, then get in touch here!


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