The Moz Blog recently had a great post on Effective Outreach by Beverly_Distilled. This discussion of techniques to reach journalists and interest them in your promotions is good, with practical advice. It also is applicable to more than journalists.
Make a Good Impression First
One of the first points in the post is to ‘stop it with the flattery’ because most journalists don’t have time for that. But really, nobody wants meaningless flattery. It’s one thing for an individual to say something specific and positive, because it shows you were personally impressed with something that was done. It’s meaningless flattery when you send out a form letter with positive adjectives cc’d to a big group of people.
Busy people want you to get to the point. If your email has a clear subject line it probably won’t end up in the trash if that subject interests the recipient.
Another thing that makes a good impression is the care you have taken to make it easy to do what you are asking. Is it easy to publish your news item because all the facts are there, any images have valid links, and the story is one that the journalist can use for their audience?
Suppose you aren’t trying to reach a journalist — suppose you are trying to connect with a new audience. Is it easy to see the information you are sharing? Do they have to jump through hoops to get to the next page? I actually tend to look for the button that puts a multipage article on one because I’d rather scroll than click. Do I have that option on your site?
Leave a Good Impression For the Future
The final point of the Moz post is that you are building a relationship with any journalist you reach out to. If your news item, or whatever it is, gets published by them, it’s a good idea to email a quick thanks and share it on your social media channels. Don’t look for a reply because journalists are busy, but you have left a positive impression that will affect future outreach.
How many times has a quick “thanks” made your day? Do you think positively of that person? Of course you do, because that’s human nature. We appreciate being appreciated.
If your lead generation isn’t making it easy to respond, you are making a serious mistake in marketing.