How this famous line from the movie NETWORK still resonates today for tips pitching clients when mainstream media is too busy.
This week, a horrific shooting captured our thoughts, TV sets were glued to the hearing with Attorney General Jeff Sessions and the First Lady and Barron moved into the White House. Last week, former FBI Director James Comey testified before the Senate Intelligence Committee and Britain was turned upside down because of the election results. Every morning, reporters are checking their newsfeed for the latest tweets from POTUS.
What does this changing obsessed media cycle mean for pitching consumer brands such as footwear and apparel or component technologies such as insulation or DNA tracking technology? Frenzied and harried reporters, less space and quicker turnarounds for deadlines. Stories on fashion, travel, supply chain and technology drop low on the totem pole as far as priority (unless of course they can be tied to the comings and goings of Washington, D.C.).
To keep the narrative going about new products, adapting to the volatile world of news is key. Targeting smaller niche, credible news sites, and respected bloggers are solid alternatives. Generating visibility in these outlets could have a cumulative impact and should not be overlooked, while still going after those traditional gold targets, e.g. Mashable, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal or morning shows. In addition, often times a respected blogger may become a writer or contributor for a larger outlet.
As the blogger space is saturated, due diligence is key. How can a brand identify the appropriate blog or site? How does the blog’s messaging align with the brand? Is it pay to play for a product review? What is the return on that investment?
Six tips for working with bloggers:
- Do your due diligence.
- Prioritize your target list in order to maximize efficiencies.
- Understand your client’s budget for executing sponsored posts (or not).
- Respond in a timely fashion.
- Nurture relationships that provide ROI. (It is a two-way street, check in to see if bloggers are working on a story with which you may be helpful, even if it doesn’t include your client).
- Creativity can go a long way (but keep it short, less is more).
Today’s PR pro needs to be versatile and his or her success (and their clients’) depends on the ability to switch gears quickly. As the media world is over connected, over scheduled and over worked with shrinking budgets, knowing where the best opportunities are is more challenging than ever. It is essential to gauge the best prospects. A series of small consecutive wins lays the foundation for larger stories and may bring surprising ROI.
Let the madness commence.