Last year, traditional media outlets were faced with the impossible task of covering a never-ending tsunami of breaking news stories. President Impeached! COVID-19 Global Pandemic! Nationwide Social Unrest! Presidential Election!
Though 2021 is shaping up to be far less of a “BREAKING NEWS!” year, 2020 taught communicators that we can’t always count on the ability to generate earned media coverage in traditional outlets. When the breaking news won’t stop, reporters and editors must focus on the news of the day – and, consequentially, have far less time and capacity for unrelated pitches and stories.
So, in the wake of 2020’s valuable lessons, we thought it’d be helpful to share the following list of four alternative types of media to include in your PR strategy.
Podcasting has been popular for years, but the number of podcasts – and podcast listeners – continues to grow at a shocking pace. These days, there are podcasts about everything. Really.
Before you pitch yourself to a podcast, listen to a few episodes of the show to a) make sure the podcast actually runs guest interviews and b) get a good feel for the topics the show discusses. Then, pitch away!
Like podcasts, newsletters are also on the rise. Platforms like Substack make it easier than ever before to create a newsletter, and reporters and non-media folks alike have been rushing to do so.
Identify target newsletters by browsing Substack (and/or similar platforms), searching on Google, and checking your favorite media outlets for information about their own newsletters. Think carefully about how your story might fit into each newsletter you plan to pitch.
Influencers typically require monetary compensation (and free product, if applicable) in exchange for a post. This blurs the line between ‘marketing’ and ‘public relations’ a bit, but because you have to pitch an influencer just like you would a traditional media reporter, we’re including them on this list.
When putting together your list of influencers to target, pay attention to the engagement their posts get. If someone has 100K followers on Instagram, for example, but their posts are only generating 20-30 likes, you shouldn’t expect to get a great ROI. Look for influencers with high engagement, authentic posts, and content that’s a good match for your brand.
Your media outreach plan probably includes a list of mainstream blogs to pitch. But, does your plan also include a list of highly-targeted niche blogs?
Niche blogs focus on one topic and one topic only, and this topic can be quite specific. For example, there are many blogs in the ‘Healthcare’ category that only cover diabetes. Using this example, if you’ve been pitching your story about a new treatment for patients with diabetes to healthcare blogs, dig a little deeper and make sure you’re catching the diabetes-specific healthcare blogs.
The audience sizes here skew smaller, but because the audience is plugged into a highly targeted subject, coverage on the right niche blog can be valuable.