In part two of this two-part blog series, Digital PR Manager, Joanna, discusses how to get your story in front of the right people to generate authoritative links to your website…
In our previous blog post, we discussed generating organic coverage for your law firm's website. There were six methods you can use to create a story that people want to know about. That said, once you have your headline story, the job isn’t over yet.
Once you have the data we discussed above, you can’t just sit on it or post about it on social media and be done with it. This is unlikely to start a conversation, and won’t get you much coverage, apart from perhaps a retweet, like, or brand mention. Instead, once you’ve got your data and story, you’ll need a strategy in place to get the ball rolling.
In this article, we’ll be exploring the seven steps you’ll need to encourage reporters to cover your story. Take a look…
Step 1: Write a Landing Page for SEO on Your Site
First and foremost, you’ll need to get your findings in writing on your website. Not only does this show that you got there first, but it also means that, if your story doesn’t gain coverage now, it may do in future. After all, if you write your page for SEO, people may stumble upon it later down the line and link to it.
By writing a landing page like this, you’ll have a base for journalists to find the data they want for their story, and somewhere to link to. Links to this page from authoritative news sites will be extremely valuable and should help to increase the overall authority of your website.
What’s more, if you have a relevant service page that you’d like to rank in the search engines, internally linking to it within this campaign landing page can help to inadvertently boost that page’s authority too.
Step 2: Create Linkable Content
If you want to go one step further, your data can be broken down into visually appealing content, like infographics, graphs, and tables. In doing so, you’re ensuring your data can get the most traffic and links possible. Having a design team in place to create this linkable content is crucial.
Step 3: Pick Out Key Headlines
Your data will likely have some stand-out pointers that journalists and their audience will deem “newsworthy”. You’ll need to pick out these stats and create some headlines that you think will draw in journalists.
Every newspaper will have a different style of news, so you’ll have to tailor it depending on the type of coverage you want. Study your chosen news sites, and take a leaf out of their books to craft headlines that will reel them in.
Your headlines should be short, sharp, and get the point across within the first few words. To do this, we’d suggest putting the key data at the front of the sentence, with any explanatory words nearer the end. Some examples of subject lines we’ve used in the past to gain coverage, that use this technique, include:
- Devon Ranks 1st in Top 10 UK Places to Live
- Landlords Benefited Most from Stamp Duty Holiday, New Data Reveals
- 2 in 3 Home Workers Dump Your Data in Household Bins, New Survey Shows
This means the reader will get the gist of the subject from the get-go, drawing them in.
Step 4: Build Contact Lists
You’ll need to spend some time researching the journalists you want to target with these headlines and stories. Depending on the data you’ve found, start with national news and work your way towards smaller local newspapers.
National newspapers can be difficult to tap into unless you truly have a story worth telling. So, if you have exhausted these avenues, we’d suggest targeting local papers. As we mentioned previously, this is a really effective way to gain coverage on a wide scale.
To do this, you’ll need to have divided your data into localities, and found patterns this way. For example, what are the top 10 and bottom 10 local authorities for your data set? Targeting each local paper within these top and bottom authorities can generate hundreds of links, and that’s just as a starting point!
Deciding who to reach out to based on your data, and building these contact lists, is a crucial step. That said, once you’ve built these contact lists, they can be used for years to come, so it’s certainly worth investing this time now.
Step 5: Write Tailored Press Releases
Once you’ve got your headline, you’ll need to write a press release to send to your chosen journalists. You’ll need to tailor each press release to fit the paper at hand. It should include your key data points and some observations and takeaways from the data.
National press releases can usually be pretty similar, but it’s the local ones you’ll need to alter. For example, say you have five locations in your top 10 for your given data. Each location will require a different headline, with a different body of text to pinpoint the key statistics for that specific data set.
Although this will no doubt be incredibly time-consuming, it is much more likely to generate the sort of buzz you’re looking for.
Step 6: Craft Your Emails
Once you’ve got your headline and press release ready, you’ll need to send it all in an email to your chosen journalists.
Your headline will come in handy when sending out your emails, as they can be used as the subject line. Then, you need to create the body of the email. Some tips for this include:
- Keep it short and sweet.
- Address the journalists by name, if you have it.
- Place the most interesting stat at the beginning of the email.
- Discuss where the data came from.
- Provide any key data points in bullet points.
- Direct them to your landing page.
- Embed your infographic into the email, if you have one.
- Encourage the recipient to follow up if they need any more data or explanations of the data.
Step 7: Reach Out to Journalists to Ask for Links
Although brand mentions certainly have some benefit in terms of building your company image, links to your site are far more valuable in terms of building your site authority. You can read more about this in our previous blog post about Digital PR.
Because of this, we would always advise you to ask for links back to your site in cases where you’ve noticed your website being mentioned without a link. To do this, you’ll need to keep an eye on the coverage you gain from your campaign by using:
- Google Alerts to track your brand mentions
- Searching for your brand name in Google news
- Using a tool like Ahrefs to track the backlinks/mentions to your website
If you notice that your site has been mentioned but not linked to, be sure to reach out to the journalist who wrote the article and ask them for a link. Although this isn’t always successful, it works a good chunk of the time, so is worth trying; after all, if you don’t ask, you don’t get.
Ready to Start Generating Organic Link Building Campaigns?
As you will have seen from this two-part series, there are numerous methods to create stories that journalists want to talk about. It’s all about tapping into the right data sources and delving deeper to find stories people care about.
Read the first part of this blog series, where we discussed six methods to create a linkable story.
Once you have this story, you need to have a strategy in place to get it in front of the right people. In this article, we’ve shown you seven steps to get this right.
At Conscious Solutions, our PR team have succeeded in using a variety of these methods to gain coverage for our clients. If you’re interested in boosting your site authority and brand image, be sure to get in contact by emailing email@example.com for more information.