On Thursday, November 15th WMPRSA members and guests gathered to learn from Austin Langlois via skype call about how to earn national press coverage. Langlois is a communications consultant, freelance writer and photographer. He has landed coverage for clients in publications like The New York Times, Outside Magazine and Buzzfeed to name just a few.
FINDING THE RIGHT CONTACT
Langlois started by taking a step back and evaluating the media landscape and how it has evolved. Finding new media isn’t as easy as a Cision search anymore. He shared different tools he uses to find the right media contacts and articles that are less expensive and more regularly updated.
FLIPBOARD- Flipboard is a news aggregator much like Google News. You can search specific beats and interest categories for different articles that could help lead you to the right contacts for your client or business.
TEXTURE- Texture is a digital magazine app that gives users access to over 200 magazines. If you’re looking to land stories in different print editions, the tool can help you find the right contacts based on what they’ve written on before.
Another trick to finding the right contacts is to look at mastheads and bylines.
If you’re reviewing the masthead and having a hard time trying to figure out which person is the right one to call, Langlois recommends the web producer or calling the research staff. Langlois has found that the web producer is typically looking for content to meet the online article minimum, and the research staff is usually more than happy to help point you in the right direction.
Sometimes you might know who you want to send your pitch to, but you aren’t sure what their email is. Langlois recommends looking into the person’s Twitter bio or using hunger.io. Hunter.io is a way to find and verify professional email addresses.
CREATING THE PERFECT PITCH
After you find the right contact, it’s time to send that perfect pitch. Langlois has created a pitching formula that has produced results. Start with a personalized introduction, followed by the who, what, where, when, and why, then wrap it up with how is this newsworthy, photos, graphics and videos in a Dropbox link, and a call to action.
OTHER HELPFUL TIPS
Langlois also recommends not getting too creative with your subject line. You don’t want to run out of room or have an all caps statement. Make sure your pitch is timely- Why now? Why this person? And, finally, follow up but don’t do it too many times that it’s annoying. He recommends ending your follow up with “Does this interest you or should I move on?”. This type of closer allows for you to not come off desperate and give the person an out if they don’t see your story as the right fit.