Earned Media: Best and Worst Practices
In our latest webinar, Spin Sucks Founder and CEO Gini Dietrich joined Propel CEO and Co-Founder Zach Cutler in discussing our latest PR study on the framework of a “perfect” PR pitch! Here are just a few of the findings:
- The most engaging subject lines were 1-5 words long.
- Pitch leads between 50 and 79 words had the highest average journalist response rate (4.16%).
- The most engaging pitches were less than 150 words long.
- Journalists responded to pitches with and without emojis about the same amount.
- The majority of pitches are opened within the first 10 minutes of landing in a journalist’s inbox.
- Journalists and PR pros are both engaging with pitches the most on Wednesday.
This session gave PR pros a chance to ask comms veterans all their burning questions about PR pitching. What’s the best thing you can do to get a story placed? How about the worst?
Enjoy some of the Q&A highlights below.
Q: What’s the worst mistake you can make in a pitch?
A: Not doing your homework and not being genuine with your approach. Journalists can always tell whether or not you did enough research before pitching them. Dietrich said she receives dozens of pitches that reference things that are not true or may have never happened in the first place. Not to mention, plenty of pitches that simply do not relate to the news or stories that her team covers.
Q: My clients are obsessed with ROI. Thoughts on how to demonstrate ROI through media relations/earned media placement?
To understand how PR initiatives are performing, there are a few business outcomes you can connect to their performance, Cutler said. As a few examples, this can mean tracking its correlation with web traffic, online purchases, white paper downloads, any form submission. And from here, two main ways to analyze PR results are by looking at general and direct attribution. Dietrich adds that something her team looks at in measuring ROI is “first, middle and last touch attribution,” which makes it more clear which stage of the customer journey that stakeholders experience over time.
Q: What are your thoughts on the effectiveness of sending pitches through email vs social media?
Sending pitches via social media is not the way to go! As someone who receives lots of pitches each week, Dietrich explains how media contacts like to use social media for quicker interactions and doing additional research, but not pitch management. For your actual pitch, it’s best to stick to email outreach as the most popular and commonly effective way, Cutler adds.
Q: When sharing more context, is it better to include links or attachments?
A: Always use links instead of attachments. Most of the time, attachments are a bad sign. They can cause your pitch to be flagged as spam by email filtering technology before anyone ever has a chance to read it. And more generally, most people are guided not to open or download an attachment unless it's coming from a trusted source.
Q: How does Propel differ from other PR tool suites?
The biggest way Propel differs from other PR platforms is that Propel is a “PRM,” or Public Relations Management platform that is built specifically to help with the PR workflow, Cutler said. This is essentially a CRM for PR. So, even though we have a media contact database and media monitoring features as well, the PRM is the core of the platform. All the insights that are gathered about what each journalist is looking for in a pitch, when is the best time to send a pitch and more are all collected because of our email pitching integrations that let people pitch with Propel, directly from their native email. These are the only email integrations in the industry, and they allow for detailed tracking of pitch status, journalist preferences and overall effectiveness through the rest of the campaign process.
To learn more, access on demand here.