Outreach Success Cheatsheet
- Do your due diligence on the journalist that posted the query. Check out their website, and check to see if they actually credit people in their blog posts - and if they do, do they also post a backlink? Some people only do mentions, and no links. (Not good if you need links! Skip them if it doesn’t fit your situation.) This should instantly cut down the amount of wasted effort you’re putting in - saving you time.
- Never respond to “Anonymous” listings - they’re rarely worth the time.
- Do NOT respond to queries that you don’t fit the match for. Eg. if they say they want to hear from lawyers - don’t submit a response just because you know the topic. It’s a waste of your time and the journalist's time.
- Investigate the style of the writer and match their voice and style in your publication. This is critical and will make you stand out.
- Make the journalists job EASY. It’s common for a query to receive 200-300 people responding - so the journalist will naturally gravitate towards the submissions that are easy to deal with. This means ensure you include all asked for details, and also always include your first and last name, position, company name and website link which makes giving credit easy. Write it so it’s easy to copy/paste!
- Ensure the format is written properly with accurate grammar and language for the nationality of the publication. (Eg. if it’s American, use American spelling. British for British, etc.)
- Follow up with each journalist a couple weeks AFTER the deadline and ask if they have any more queries coming up. (The delay is important as they won’t be as busy.) The focus here is to build long-term opportunities.
- Connect with the journalist on Linkedin. (Outreach is a game of networking.) If the HARO posts the name of the publication but not the journalist name, go to the publication and check out who’s actually posting on the blogs/websites. You can typically track them down.
- Keep a spreadsheet of journalist names and publications as they come up on HARO. Begin touching base with them on an on-going basis and you’ll see an uptick in the number of queries you know about and can secure a placement in.
- Stay consistent. Check HARO Daily at the same time each day, and do it in a batched manner if possible.
- Do NOT write the first thing that comes to your mind! Remember that these journalists are being swamped by submissions by people like you and a lot of people send the “obvious” points. By sending in a “lesser thought about” aspect of perspective on the topic, it’ll dramatically increase you’ll get included because your submission will be unique content to them.
The Golden Triangle Formula
Getting featured by high quality publications isn't a numbers game.
It's a game of networking.
When you understand this, and take it to heart - things get easier.
The Golden Triangle is simple.
You want three touch points per submission.
1) On HARO or the platform where you're responding.
2) Follow up on Linkedin
3) Follow up on email (Don't be pushy, just touch base.)
Do this consistently and you will begin to get higher quality placements, and spend less time getting them.
The final "secret" to getting big placements...
Treat outreach as a long game. Get to know the journalists... and follow up occasionally to see if they could use any input on your areas of expertise.
But the real linchpin that holds a strong outreach effort together is...
DO THEM A FAVOUR!
Reach out to the journalists and offer to help them first.
Literallly ask them what kind of stories they're working on, and what kind of people they want to get in contact with.
Offer to make introductions for them - and keep an eye out for interesting people to introduce.
It's a win-win that'll make you look like a rockstar.
This is the easiest way to stand out and get accepted into the inner circles of journalists that publish in massive publications.
Alright, that's it. Get out there and get after it!