Live from Pubcon: Outreach and Relationship Building

By Janet Driscoll Miller | Oct 17, 2012
More Articles by Janet


With blogger outreach becoming more popular for SEO, it’s vital to know how to reach out to others and build online relationships. This panel featured Jabez LeBret, Melyssa St. Michael and Kelsey Libert.

Jabez LeBret

Jabez LeBret was up first and discussed getting links from the media. When pitching the media, try:

  • relpying to a news query
  • pitching a journalist
  • pitching a publication

Check out HARO – Help a Reporter Out. Great stuff. Shows you inquiries from reporters searching for subject matter experts. But don’t cheat! They will blacklist you. They have a digest three times a day and specialized lists.

If you’re pitching a journalist:

  • find them on LinkedIn
  • do they write about your topic?
  • send summary
  • be relevant to their audience

If you’re pitching to a publication:

  • Create multiple pieces. Create a 250. 500 and 1000 word version of the story that is “evergreen” news and offer it to them to use.
  • send all articles with a release
  • be sure it’s relevant to their audience

The best way to get links from the media, though, is to BECOME the media. Jabez writes for NBC in Chicago weekly. They don’t pay him, but he was able to define his description and the link and how it appeared on the website. The access that you get to other things when you ARE the media is greater. You can get a press pass just about anywhere. So how do you becfome the media?

  • Start stalking the editors on LinkedIn
  • Start local
  • It’s about THEIR audience — how can their AUDIENCE benefit from your information?
  • Social proof helps
  • Don’t get frustrated!

If you’re a news junkie, you have value to a news outlet. If you’re really connected, you have value to a news outlet. If you’re a good writer, you have a good opportunity to become a media writer. And if you’re an expert (perhaps with a third party affirmation), will help to approach the media.

Kelsey Libert

Next up was Kelsey Libert. She started by showing how content marketing has taken off as a trend this year. What does this mean? It means that inboxes for reporters are really full. This isn’t just happening on Twitter. So how can you build a mutually beneficial relationship and provide valuable info?

  1. Resontate differently. Don’t build it just on keyword anchor text. Go for a broader idea.
  2. Keep it simple.
  3. Find your greatness.
  4. Capture the AHA moment, which is created in the gap between what people know and what they WANT to know.
  5. Be concrete. Case studies are better than ideas.
  6. Establish credibility. Involve the audience in the learning process about your content.
  7. Get people to care about your idea. Virality is created by higher emotion, such as awe, anxiety or anger.
  8. Get people to act on your idea. People relate to stories, not just data points.

Using media for outreach:

  1. Break down barriers using social media. You can use Twitter to break down barriers:
    • Remind people that you’re a real person. Don’t go right for the pitch, but have a conversation first. Learn about that person.
    • Give credit to the writer.
    • Append your personality. Show that you’re a brain, not a bot. Use your sense of humor.
    • Use quotes from the article — it looks like you read the article instead of just tweeting a headline.
    • Be timely. Try to work with something they did in the past few weeks.
    • Explain why you agree with their opinion. They may even retweet it.
    • Provide an opposing opinion, but tread lightly.
    • Ask questions about their content.
    • Get to know the author. Go directly to them and ask about them or follow up.
  2. Use social media to find emails (example: buzzstream). Aslo try mailtester.com to guess an email.
  3. Always follow up.
  4. Do link recon through social media. You can ask for link credit.
  5. Use social media to build relationships, not to pitch.

How to close more email pitches using AIDAS:

  1. Blogger outreach is essentially sales: AIDAS: Awareness + Interest + Desire = Action and leads to Satisfaction
    • Awareness: Social, twe4eting
    • Interest: Subject line of email
    • Desire: Explains the mutual benefit of the content
  2. Prove WHY the readers need the content
  3. Show how the publishers don’t cover this content yet, but your content does
  4. Evaluate the alternatives — what are you revealing?
  5. You can’t close without asking for it. Close using a content choice, a series of acceptances, an impending event.
  6. Don’t sell the steak, sell the sizzle. Sell the benefits, not the features.

Melyssa St. Michael

Melyssa was up last and covered the four stages of building a community. A great community depends on your objective. So first, build the plan:

  • Build out your “business plan”
  • Identify key objectives (KPIs) that are meaningful for your business
  • Decide evergreen vs. campaign
Then map out your campaign message against the five stages of consumer journey to purchase. Then map the message to your funnel and KPIs. Then build your brief as a roadmap, based on what you’ve mapped out.

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