It’s indisputable: The influencer industry is booming. It’s so successful that influencer marketing global spend is projected to reach $10 billion by 2020. The current media and influencer landscape creates a vast universe of different voices and profiles for each comms professional to navigate. Acutely aware of this daily struggle, comms professionals must learn to craft relevant pitches to gain the attention of these voices. However, before they even craft their pitch, comms pros must identify journalists and influencers that will reach their target audience to generate engagement— and ultimately hard returns such as website conversions and revenue.

To find the right journalist, comms must flip the targeting model. Traditionally, brands have blindly reached out to publications with massive reach, without considering much else. To stay a step ahead of the competition- who might be caught up with large publications and flashy names- you must evaluate your audience and get to know where their interests lie. Once you get to know your audience, you can then target the relevant journalist who influences that audience. But where do you start?

Access a comprehensive database

You need a comprehensive – and regularly updated – database to reach journalists relevant to your audience. The average tenure of a journalist is plummeting, and today, employers can expect an employee to be in their job for less than 2 years. On top of this, a journalist is more likely than ever to work for several news publications at once. You need a database that is full of the most up-to-date contact information so that once you find your perfect fit, you’re not howling into the void of a disabled inbox.

Don’t limit your outreach

Review your last year or so of outreach– are you reaching out to the same old journalists at the same old publications? There’s nothing wrong with building relationships with journalists (in fact it’s key), but after a while you need to expand your outreach, especially if you know your brand deserves more. While these old relationships may have served you at one point, chances are, in such a rapidly changing industry you need to reassess and retarget your outreach to get your brand where it needs to be.

Find exactly what you’re looking for

You need a database that can not only provide you with access to nearly every influencer effecting your audiences, but also quality tools to effectively filter through them. Cision Database provides in-depth search and filter options such as “Talking About”– a key tool in searching influencers by the topic on which they are most influential. If your brand’s target audience is interested in fashion, being able to search influencers by fashion is imperative in finding the right voices for your brand. And taking it a step further, finding influencers who are influential on a trending topic in fashion can be even more timely and crucial to campaign success, especially when those topics sit outside of their traditional beat and coverage.

Another set of useful filters involve location– where is your target audience? If your company sells custom surf boards, chances are your target audience is more likely to live in San Diego, CA rather than New York, NY. You can filter influencers by region, audience location and more to find local influencers with an engaged following and/or a role at a relevant media outlet.

Know what your journalist likes

We all have our preferred method of communication. Whether it’s a carrier pigeon or an email with links and images, journalists have a preference as well. To make sure you know where your journalist will be most receptive to pitching, access a database that takes methods of communication into account. Also, if you’ve reached out to a journalist before, Cision Database not only can provide that history, but also provide a private space for you to make notes to keep an accurate account of the journalists’ preferences or other key information.

When first diving into the world of journalist outreach, it’s easy to be overwhelmed. In a sea of profiles it can seem difficult to find the right influencer for your brand’s voice. However, once you flip the model to start with your audience’s characteristics- plus equip yourself with an extensive database to match- journalist outreach will provide the returns your brand deserves.


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About Rebecca DeLorenzo

Having started at PRNewswire in 2014, Rebecca has experience across product development, product marketing, and digital marketing. She now serves as Product Marketing Specialist for both Cision Influencers and Database offerings. Rebecca holds a bachelors degree in Economics and French from Villanova University.