Starting from nothing the first time you want to pitch your brand to a publication or writer for media coverage can feel overwhelming. It’s tough to decide where to start, or how to know which publication is likely to accept a pitch. It can take hours just googling magazines or websites that align with your brand’s work. So, I’m revealing my favorite trick to find new PR opportunities – it’s probably been right under your nose all along.
Find the publications where your competitors are being featured and pitch them.
That’s it! Sounds obvious, right? If brands that are similar to your brand are being featured in a certain publication, or website, or by a specific writer – odds are that your idea would fit right in.
Let’s game plan this together:
Step 1: Determine who your favorite competitor is
Which brand (or, brands) in your industry or niche do you look up to? You love their style, you follow their every move, they motivate you to be the best you– basically, your brand crush. Make a mental list of who they are and store that in your mind (or, on paper).
Step 2: Do your research
Once you have an idea of which brands are your inspiration, google them. You want to find what publications have featured them before or what journalists are frequently writing about them. One easy way to do this is by searching their website for a press section. There, everything will be laid out for you to easily look at who is talking about them.
If their website doesn’t have a press section, fear not! There are sleuthing ways to find what you’re looking for. Checking them out in the news section on google or scrolling their social media for articles are two more ways to find out where they’re being mentioned.
Step 3: Create a chart
While finding these publications, articles, and writers, you should be compiling a list of what you’re seeing. Create a chart to list the publications, keywords from the article, when it came out, and who wrote it. You’re going to want to do this for every brand you’re researching. Once your chart is created, you can compare and contrast. Did one writer write about a similar topic for 2-3 brands? Which publications feature columns that could be relevant to what you’re selling? Use this to find out where you can see the most promise for your own brand.
Step 4: Build your target media list
Once you’ve looked through this list and have found where the similarities are or aren’t, you can start building your target media list. You can’t expect that every writer or publication who featured your competitor will also be a good fit for your brand, so the chart you made before isn’t your media list, but it’s what you are working off to create your own when using this strategy. For example, maybe the competitor you were basing your initial search off of was featured in a publication you hadn’t thought of so you added it and the writer who did the piece to the list, but when you take a deep dive into the publication you see that in addition to the new product launch feature your competitor was in, there’s also a monthly interview series with founders of brands in your industry, which is more aligned with the type of coverage you’re hoping to secure, and is written by a different writer who is the one you should be adding to your list. In your target list, you want to only have the most promising media for your own brand. Be realistic about who will feature you and why they might.
Step 5: Find the contact info
You want to build a media list that includes contact information so you can easily take action whenever you’re ready for outreach. Google your writers to try to find the best way to reach out to them. Sometimes contact info can be found on the publication they write for, or on their social media (always check Twitter). Almost anyone’s email address is somewhere, if you know where to look.
Step 6: Do your research, part 2
Look into what else the publication or writer you want to pitch is writing about. Once you’ve done this additional research, you can incorporate what you found in your pitch email. If you uncovered an article or website section that perfectly aligns with your vibe, you can use that as a conversation starter! This shows that you did your research, and it also gives you the opportunity to mention why your brand is similar to something they’ve previously written.
So, there you have it! My favorite trick to find new PR opportunities for yourself and your brand. I hope this was a helpful tip, something you can implement for your business this week, and start using to grow your visibility. Even if you only pick one outlet that you saw a competitor in this week and pitch them, that’s a great start. For more detail on this trick listen to this podcast episode too!