How to Contact Journalists

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The online media can be a good alternative to finding quality links to your website, because:

 

– The online media tend to have a website with a high “domain authority” so a link from them is very valuable.

– A release about your website published in online media also indirectly favors a large increase of natural links to your site. Besides the “diffusion” effect  we must consider the “credibility” effect because the online media definitely reinforces your prestige (obviously as long as the news is not negative), and people are more inclined to link to your website.

 

Guidelines

Getting this type of links is clearly not easy, and it will require an investment of time from your part. This is also, often, an investment for the medium and longer period. Sometimes when you contact the relevant journalists in your industry, it is unlikely that they are planning on talking about topics related to your website soon, but we always have to consider they might do it in the future.

A good idea is to have a “media kit” with relevant information about your company, logos in various sizes … that can be used by the prospective journalists that have contacted you with a relevant material.

We can distinguish several types of content we want to convey to journalists, these are the most important ones:

– General issues in our industry; they normally contain (if achieved) a link to the home of your domain.

– Posts or specific pages on your website that address a specific topic in a comprehensive and / or an original approach.

– News, presentations, events that are organized by your company (you should have a page on your website that explain details first).

It is important to stress the fact that we must nurture good relationships with journalists. It is not just about sending such an email and waiting for a story with a link to your website to be published the next day. When you contact the journalists, you need to highlightyour credibility and industry experience, as this will facilitate the success of being published. Another important point is to try to put yourself in the position of the journalist:

What values do you give?
Do you have an original approach to a topic?
Do you have information that nobody else can provide them with?
Can you offer a relevant exclusive?
Can you provide comprehensive information on a subject that you dealt with before?
Do you have another point of view or do you want to politely say that you believe there is an error in an article published by the journalist?
Can you show a case study results about the subject that you have addressed?

This whole series of questions will help you to properly focus your communication with journalists and promote your chances of success.

 

Instructions

There are several ways to identify the journalists that would be interesting for you to contact. Here are the main ones.

Search method

Google provides important functionality to identify the news (and consequently journalists who write) on the topic related to your website.

Proceed as follows:

– Use keywords related to your website, we can also use the commands: “”, inurl:, intitle:, intext:, to refine your search.

– We will use the “news” option.

google-news– In addition, you can use the additional toolbar to restrict or sort the news based on the ones you are interested in (the news in a particular language, a particular country, published on a certain date …)

noticias

– Once you finish with all of the steps above, you will have a list of relevant news. You can visit to see if you can find out the name of the journalist who posted them.

Social Networks

Google+, Twitter and LinkedIn are social networks that can be of great assistance when identifying relevant journalists. The method we use is similar in all three cases. Conduct a search on these social networks for keywords relevant to your website by adding tag lines such as “journalist”, “newspaper” … and see the results that appear. From there, follow the options of each network to contact them.

It is advisable to establish a preliminary contact before having a relevant news that you want to communicate, as this facilitates deepening your relationship with journalists through this previous contact.

Facebook Ads

Having in mind the features of Facebook, this payment method can give us good results without falling into actions that are too intrusive to this network. This image of Ian Greenleigh explains very clearly the method to follow.

periodisas-facebook-ads

It is about using the capabilities offered by this platform, to offer your services and advice as an expert to different types of journalists that are relevant to you.

Marketplaces

There are various sites that connect journalists and sources. One of the best known is HARO (Help a reporter out).

haro

The operation of these sites is as follows: Journalists release a notice about the need to cover some news, and the sources can contact the reporter and provide the necessary information. Although this is a good method, there are several problems:

– Most sites are aimed at the British market.

– Most options require payment.

– You are competing with dozens of sources to appear on any news.

– It is difficult to establish a personal relationship with journalists.

 

Additional Resources

For more information about the Haro service, we recommend the following post:

http://searchenginewatch.com/article/2361107/Online-PR-Should-You-Pitch-or-Ignore-These-6-HARO-Personas

On the other hand, these are the standards to be met in HARO:

1) Sources will receive three emails a day, Monday through Friday at 5:35 a.m., 12:35 p.m. and 5:35 p.m. EST, with queries from reporters and media outlets worldwide. Scan the emails, and if you’re knowledgeable about any of the topics, answer the reporter directly through the anonymous @helpareporter.net email address provided at the beginning of the query.
2) Do not spam reporters with off-topic pitches in response to their queries.
3) You may forward queries to others via email, but do not copy and paste them publicly on the Web.
4) You’re not allowed to harvest any reporter email addresses provided in the HARO emails for any reason.
5) Be excellent to each other.

This video presents a quick way to find journalists on Google +.

 

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