You put a lot of time, effort and (let’s be honest) talent into your media strategy, so why don’t your earned media results reflect that?
It’s a common frustration among PR professionals, especially as they struggle to compete for attention amid a shrinking pool of journalists and more noise than ever.
Let’s break down three of the biggest obstacles at play when it comes to earning the media coverage you deserve.
Challenge 1: Identifying the Right Journalists and Influencers to Reach
Fast fact: 25% of comms leaders say they can “always” identify the right journalist or influencer to reach out to (according to the 2021 Global Comms Report)…which means 75% can’t.
Why it matters: If you’re sending stories to the wrong people, your stories fail to get traction and you end up wasting your time and theirs. But how do you know who the right journalists are – and where to find them?
The solution: A media database can help you keep track of journalists, bloggers, influencers and publishers to reach out to for coverage. Many PR teams opt to create their own media database in-house, using software like Excel; however, a manually created and maintained media database requires a lot of hours and effort dedicated to researching journalists, gathering contact information and ensuring the information is up-to-date (a tall order in an ever-changing industry).
The better solution: For PR teams looking to streamline their efforts, facilitate more personalized (read: more effective) media outreach and track results, a third-party media database that offers more advanced capabilities – and automates many of the labor-intensive tasks – can be a worthwhile investment. Not only can it help you quickly identify the right individuals to reach out to, it will free up hours of your team’s time – time you can dedicate to actually building media relationships.
Challenge 2: Making Your Message Stand Out
Fast fact: PR professionals outnumber journalists 7 to 1? No wonder more than half of journalists report getting more than 50 pitches per week (and 28% get over 100!).
Why it matters: When it comes to getting journalists’ attention, you have a lot of competition and a lot of noise to break through. To create a truly stand out pitch, you need to personalize your message to the individuals you’re reaching out to as much as possible.
The solution: Do your homework to understand the type of stories your media contacts cover and how they prefer to be pitched. Seems obvious, but time and again we hear from journalists that the majority of PR pros who reach out to them don’t understand their beat or their audience. If time is an issue (and if your media contact list is long enough, it probably is), here again is where a media database can help. A quality third-party database will have readily available access to detailed journalist and influencer data on everything from the topics they cover to the audiences they reach to their pitching preferences – enabling you to easily personalize your pitches and make an impact.
Challenge 3: Tracking Results and ROI
Fast fact: Only 23% of comms leaders feel “very” confident in their ability to effectively measure and prove the business impact of their efforts (according to the Global Comms Report). Which means 77% don’t.
Why it matters: If you aren’t tracking the impact of your efforts, how do you know if they’re successful? When it comes to planning your next campaign, how will you know where to beginor what messages will resonate?
The solution: A quality media database partner can provide insight into who picked up your story and where to focus your efforts next. Combined with a media monitoring and analytics platform, you can more accurately track the success of your efforts and use that insight to create more effective campaigns in the future.
Bringing It All Together
Of course, meeting these challenges is easier said than done, and the last thing you need is another platform to add to the list of tools you’re already using. Fortunately, you don’t have to. Today, there are plenty of tools available, like the Cision Comms Cloud, that enable you to consolidate your various PR tools, streamline your team’s workflow and meet the challenges outlined above.
Curious to see how it works? Schedule a demo today.
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About Mary Lorenz
Mary Lorenz is Editorial Director at Cision and writes about best practices and thought leadership for marketing, communications and public relations professionals. She has a background in marketing, public relations and journalism and over 15 years of experience in copywriting and content strategy across a variety of platforms, industries and audiences.