June 23, 2021
This month we’ve teamed up with Daniel Tannenbaum, Editor at TechRound to provide PR and SEO specialists with top tips on how to generate PR campaigns that are actually attractive to journalists.
Read on to find out how to get the balance just right when it comes to creating campaigns with an SEO focus in mind.
Link building is crucial to a successful SEO campaign. Sure, you need to be technically fixed up and have some great content too, but having excellent links can be the difference, especially in a competitive industry like insurance, finance or automobile where you need that edge over your competitors.
Some of the best links you can acquire are from high-end news sites and part of your SEO campaign should be geared towards attracting journalists. News sites will typically have DAs that are higher than 40 and even as high as 80 or 90 and if you produce something really killer, you could find that gets syndicated and captures a number of high quality links for you immediately and in the future.
Today, we propose how to create a good SEO campaign to attract journalists, with some quick wins and long term gains included.
You can be very clever with your keywords when writing guides, resources and blog post content. We always like to create guides for our clients that include some industry statistics, surrounding terms such as ‘how much is it worth’ and ‘how many people …”
We make sure that these figures are well optimised in the main meta-title, URL and heading. Ideally, we want to target phrases that people are genuinely searching for and will also attract traffic for the brand too.
Some examples include:
Whilst some hard-hitting journalism involves finding scoops and researching a story, sometimes journalists are just looking for quick statistics to build up an argument in their article. So if you have written pieces about industry statistics and they rank top of Google, you will regularly find journalists adding you as a reference and giving you a link too. Simple.
If you have a brand that is gaining traction and people are talking about, why not make life easier for the press and create a dedicated press section on the footer.
Here you can ‘gift’ journalists with lots of recent press releases, images of the founders, logos and other media collateral.
So anyone who is looking to write about you can already find lots of useful information and can start writing away. Just be sure to update the press section and provide new content regularly.
With a lot of SEO campaigns, to truly capture a great opportunity with a journalist, it may take several weeks or months or you may need something of real quality as a hook.
When you have a content piece with strong data behind it, it creates real credibility and something that a journalist is more likely to share.
One of the best ways to find this data is to conduct a study or a survey and it needs to be a for a substantial number of people e.g 1,000 minimum
You want to find something that is topical, where opinions are very divided or something where there is a prediction based on experts, so that your data could conclude that is groundbreaking and likely to stand out. After all, journalists are trying to sell stories and newspapers at the end of the day!
There are a number of ways to get people to fill in a survey for data purposes. Ideally, you want to make sure that the survey is very quick to fill in (less than 5 minutes) and can be completed online using something like Survey Monkey or Google Docs.
If you want to get something fast and go down the paid route, you can use the likes of Swagbucks and i-Say to get people to fill in your survey.
If you want to go the free or low-cost route, you should ideally have some good incentives such as Amazon Vouchers, 6-month subscriptions to products or other prizes for someone selected at random. You can use a combination of email marketing, twitter (the best option) and other forums to get people to take part. Certainly if you are looking for participants who are mums or students, there are a number of Facebook groups and forums and you are more likely to strike gold with getting participants for free.
Once you have the data, the next step is to create a nice full piece on your website or the client’s website that hosts this data. This should include bullet points with the key findings, some graphs or tables showing the results from participants and also a comment from a senior person within the company giving their thoughts.
You can use Cision or Roxhill to send your press release out to thousands of potential journalists and be sure to chase them up with an email or phone call to get a hook. Or equally, you can use Twitter to reach out to specific journalists within the target sector to share the piece.
This is time-consuming, hence we refer to it as a long-term strategy and this is where executives and juniors can come in to chase up and message lots of potential journalists.
To attract a journalist, you can reverse your approach by seeing what the journalists are looking for and then reaching out and asking what information they would like.
You can use the likes of Twitter or Help a Reporter Out (HARO) using specific hashtags like journorequest or the profile PressPlugs who are always sharing interesting topics from journalists and need comments from different companies.
You can then liaise with the journalist and put together a comment, study or survey piece together – and this way you know that you have an increased chance of it being published.
Nothing is ever guaranteed with outreach, but the more time you put in, the more you certainly get out!
Daniel’s tips prove that generating stories that have a purpose are much more likely to lead to success.
By leading with insight and creating content that is focussed around consumer demand or search trends and then supporting this with new, third-party data means that PR specialists can communicate the reason behind creating a story and why it’s something they’re audience will genuinely want to read about.