How to Refine Your Outreach Techniques for PR Campaigns


Kira Feather-Stracey

Head of Content and Online PR

Content Marketing

PR and SEO are no longer separate entities. The world of search has shifted and digital agencies can now leverage public relations for SEO success.

The success of any SEO PR campaign relies heavily on its outreach strategy. Unlike outreach for the purposes of link acquisition, outreach for PR requires you to focus on the reputation of your brand within its target market. As a result, the outreach process must not only look at the people you are targeting, but the message you are trying to convey as well as how you are going to sell-in your story.

No matter how amazing your PR idea is, if you outreach techniques fall short of your competitors, your coverage and subsequent online visibility will be virtually zilch. So let’s take a look at how we can refine our outreach techniques for PR campaign success:

Get an Nth degree in research

Great outreach starts with great research. As well as looking for coverage online, dont neglect offline publications or events that can subsequently drive online interaction. Above all, research the people behind the papers, influential blogs, and industry magazines. Find out what they like to do on the weekends, their favourite football team, and the charities they support. The more you know about the people between yourself and the publications, the more common ground you will have to be able to nurture a fruitful relationship.

Target the crème de la crème

If you send the exact same press release out en masse to every small time blogger and faintly relevant media outlet, chances are it will be treated like the spam that it is and deleted. Instead, tailor your approach to each publication and only target the top 20% of industry influencers.

The stories picked up by the top influencers will naturally trickle down to smaller, highly relevant publications. This will allow you to achieve 80% of the results you seek in terms of influence, by focusing on the 20% of influencers that are the most significant. This is based on the Pareto Principle or 80/20 rule.

Pareto principle

Pitch it to the point

Journalists and industry influencers have deadlines of their own and often the quickest way to pitch your story is to pick up the phone. Journalists decide in around 10 seconds whether or not they are interested in your story, so it’s important to get straight to the point. The easiest way to do this is to sell it in a nutshell: “I have a real rags to riches story for you.”

The media loves a modern day retelling of a classic fairytale or traditional story structure. If you can find a rags to riches, zero to hero, ugly duckling, David and Goliath or role reversal story (man bites dog as opposed to dog bites man), it’s going to have a newsworthy element that you can sell, quickly.

Nurture your friendships

Relationship management is key to successful outreach. Building and maintaining friendships with journalists, bloggers, and influencers should be central to your strategy. If you have a spare hour, invite them to lunch. If you know they are redecorating their house and you have a discount code for their favourite furniture retailer, call them. If they go out of their way to help you, make sure you say thank you. Don’t just contact them when you need something from them. The more you help them, the more they will be willing to help you get the right message across when your content is published.

Make prospects part of the story

Involving journalists and industry influencers in the story is great ego bait. Who doesn’t want more exposure for themselves or their online publications? If you make a story about the media, they are going to want to talk about it. Dynamo PR took their clients product, a 3D Doodler pen, and created 3D drawings of logos and influencers they were looking to target. By involving the media in the launch of their product, they had something to offer outreach prospects which meant they wanted to portray the brand in a positive light. In addition, they were able to acquire natural links without having to ask for them directly.

Dynamo doodler


Do their work for them

The more you can do to make a journalists life easier, the better chance you have of getting your PR idea into the public domain, exactly when you need it. Be prepared to offer anything and everything a journalist or outreach prospect could potentially need. Have media packs at the ready, containing hi-res images, product information and any bios that may be relevant. Think about what they need to do their own job well. Offer them exclusive content by splitting juicy information between different prospects. This will give each influencer a unique angle to take and a story told once in a different way can be just as newsworthy.

In conclusion, think not about what your journalist can do for you, but what you can do for your journalist. If you really think about the people behind the publications, your outreach is likely to be efficient and productive, which will undoubtedly boost the overall success of your PR campaign.

Image source: Dynamo PR –