Three Lessons In Media And Influencer Relations From Recent Research

Journalists and marketers have always had a negative impression of PR pros. Public relations professionals have been stereotyped as spin doctors who waste reporters’ time with press releases and promotional content that isn’t related to their beats.
Meanwhile, the media has its own collection of tired, inaccurate generalisations about its own profession that aren’t fair to generalise about…

While it may be argued that stereotypes do serve a purpose, the truth is that most of the time, they have little bearing on either profession in the modern workplace.
Innovative media relations practises are gradually replacing traditional views of public relations, much as an inbound marketing mentality has surpassed traditional outbound tactics. These creative tacticians have helped boost our reputation, demonstrating that our finest work comes from combining forces with influential people and the press.

Conduct your research

A common sentiment expressed by publishers throughout the study was their loathing of PR representatives who don’t bother to do their homework. Nearly 70% of respondents claimed that one of the most common reasons they denied proposals was because they were unrelated to their beat.
To utilise monitoring to study the articles you pitch. If you’re a PR pro, you can benefit from downloading our free cheat sheet on monitoring.

Identify key opinion leaders

For good reason, 2016 was a banner year for influencer marketing. Influencers are the pinnacle of word-of-mouth marketing, much to how a personal suggestion from a friend is more effective than a commercial. In an ideal scenario, a well-respected figurehead with a sizable and dedicated following will advocate for your product in their own words and ultimately become an unofficial representative of your company.
Don’t be scared to go outside the A-listers for sources of influence. In many fields, the most important people don’t have millions of social media interact with your fan base.
Find well-known journalists, bloggers, businesspeople, community leaders, and educators whose active fan bases are representative of your target customers. Focus on developing a relationship and trust with these opinion leaders to pave the way for future work together.


Publications and the media have developed a reputation for credibility and authority similar to that of influential people. Through research (such as a survey or audience persona assessment), discover which media your target audience reads on a regular basis or consults when they have a concern or problem that is related to your content or brand.
Find the best point of contact at the publications your target audience reads and that are relevant to your content.
Before you start writing your pitch, do some research on your target by perusing their author archive, social networks, and past publications. Don’t just send your proposal to the editor-in-chief of a large publishing house or the full editorial contact list without first considering who your intended audience is.

The second takeaway is the importance of making a fantastic first impression.

It is crucial that you stand out in an inbox that is continuously receiving fresh proposals every hour, since 57% of top-tier publishers receive between 50 and 500 pitches every week. The question then becomes how to produce an impactful initial presentation.
In an inbox, the only things that will make you stand out are your name and the subject line.
However, if you’re a cold contact, it may be tough to convince them to open based on your name alone. However, if you’ve established rapport with the correct contacts, your name will carry considerably more weight. This suggests that topic lines are quite important. Half of those surveyed cited it as the primary reason they open emails.

Thirdly, show that you’re worth it.

To return to the media’s number one pet gripe, failing to establish your worth goes hand in hand with failing to prove your relevance. When selling to influencers and the press, it is crucial — but frequently forgotten — to highlight how the material will help them and their audience rather than your company. Do not waste their time with a drawn-out email; instead, demonstrate your worth by include the following.

  • If you want your work to be taken seriously, you should explain the process by which it was compiled or link to the original data.
  • Relevant to current events: emphasise the freshness of the data or how the material relates to a breaking news item.
  • To illustrate your piece’s relevance to the publication’s readers, you should highlight the most compelling data relevant to that readership.
  • Proof: Don’t forget to link to the finalised material so they may evaluate for themselves whether it’s actually beneficial to their readership.