Pitching smarter and not harder sounds easy, right? Wrong.
Something I’ve learned during my time on the content promotion team at Go Fish Digital is that each person has their own way of pitching smarter and not harder. When I started at the company, I was given the traditional do’s and don’ts of pitching to journalists and publications: the most optimal times, how to format the message, how to pivot if you’re not getting the desired results, the list could go on. Over the first few months, I cultivated my own pitching routine and found things that some team members liked doing that I didn’t and vice versa. Eventually, I came up with an outreach strategy that has been pretty successful in getting the responses I’m looking for.
Here are three strategies I incorporate into my pitching routine each day to increase both the efficiency and effectiveness of my outreach.
If you’re doing a lot of outreach, purchasing software that helps manage your campaigns can make the process more efficient. Our team uses Yesware, which makes monitoring the performance of campaigns a breeze. It can also save you a ton of time on things like sending out mass emails, calculating open rates, and A/B testing. The software our team uses has truly allowed me to be more organized in my outreach which, in turn, has led to better results.
Mass follow-ups were a game-changer for me. For a while, my pitching and one-off follow-ups were manual and it was everything but effective and efficient. Sending a follow-up email for the majority of my pitches increased my open and response rate and has even led to multiple pieces of coverage. Very rarely do I have a reporter in my inbox annoyed or bothered by a follow-up, so I wouldn’t shy away from them.
Here’s an insider’s tip to following up – it’s important to note that reporters need time to ruminate on your pitch (if they didn’t accidentally miss it, then it’s a good reminder). On a normal week, I’ll usually wait two days to schedule a follow-up. On news-heavy weeks or around holidays, however, I’ll push follow-ups out a few more days.
Establishing relationships is one that is and will always be, something I work on throughout my career. Everyone at our company interacts directly with coworkers or clients each day. However, those of us on the content promotion team have an added layer of communication with news publications and journalists. The hard part about these relationships is that they are almost always via email and very surface level. I don’t know what side of town a reporter lives on, their favorite coffee shop, or what they did over the weekend (unless I snooped on their social media). This makes communicating and pitching to them that much harder because there is no personal connection.
As the ‘pitcher’, it’s important for us to dig a little deeper to create a connection. The more a reporter feels like they know us or can recognize our name when we pop up in their inbox, the more effective our efforts are. Remember that they are human too.
Of course, there are a lot of things you can do to pitch smarter and not harder. Effective and efficient strategies come in all shapes and sizes, and it’s all about what works for you and leads to the best results. Just be sure to find the strategies that work best for you!