Editors are always seeking content. They have increased demand in readers and an endless thirst for more. So most editors are usually happy to get a media pitch... an interesting pitch that is.
The problem is that the media pitches editors receive these days are not great. Promotional, no substance, no relevance and plain crap get pitched over and over. It’s no wonder they’ve become pretty jaded towards PR folks.
The truth is this: your company communications goals are rarely in line with journalists goals, which is why pitches rarely go well.
To help you understand what editors seek, here are some tips and thoughts.
Opportunities are There
There are more opportunities than you think. Editors need to keep up with the pace of content and the wildly varied ways we are consuming it. We read articles, watch videos, stream podcasts, and share everything across channels. Editors have to be on top of it all.
Creating fantastic content has also become difficult due to the scale of demand. An increase in content demand means more opportunities...
So if you can serve up the right content in the right format, you’ll make an editor’s day.
Provide More Than Words
With written content, you can scale it, adapt it, rewrite or update it. Which is why this method of content delivery is still so popular. But content gets consumed in many new formats that were not that popular before. This requires new media and delivery of the content to the editor's audience.
You can help editors make content stand out by providing videos. These can be used as a way to promote the content in a style that will be easier to consume and grab attention. I would also hazard a guess that an editor does not have time to create videos either.
Other types of content that an Editor will eat up:
- Storytelling and lifestyle images
- Audio clips and podcasts
Provide this type of content alongside a quality pitch and you should see an improvement in coverage.
Corporate social responsibility initiatives are always exciting to see and share so long as they are not promotion engines.
For sure editors are seeking content and reliable sources of it. But they are not desperate enough to publish promotional content or even link to it. Not only is it just not good use of content, some consider it offensive or demeaning if you expect this from them.
This is where PR and marketing professionals fail by getting earned media opportunities. They will pitch or provide content that has little to no substance and focuses on product or brand.
The key here is to focus on the audience of the editor.
Provide valuable insight to the editor who can then share the message with your mutual audience.
Unfortunately, this is difficult to turn into a performance metric, which is why PR and marketing professionals tend to push a sales message - leads, leads, leads. Instead, focus on potential brand awareness and knock-on effects of having your brand reputation in a credible space.
Content needs to be produced year round. For the editor, they need to produce content that will engage their audience. This requires an editorial calendar that provides consistent content when there is no breaking news to cover.
This information is by no means a secret either. You need to reach out to the publisher or media contact, introduce yourself and ask for their editorial calendar.
Super simple and easy to do. But few of us do it. An editorial calendar provides information on what content you need to provide and when by. This is the best kind of information you can get with your media contacts.
If you yourself have an editorial calendar, you can then use the one they have sent to fill in some holes of your own or build in opportunities.
AVE and social shares are metrics that generally hold little value with management teams. Editors focus now on sessions, returning visitors and new visitors amongst many other data variables.
It may be difficult to know what exact metrics the editor monitors but it would be good to know what success looks like.
Ask this question so you can cater to their needs with content creation. If time spent on a page is crucial, you know that a solid article or video is vital. New sessions will need shock value to entice eyes and clicks to the article.
Ask questions and hope for a reply. It is possible that your interest in their success will make you a much more valuable content asset to them than your competitors. The more time spent on media relations the more understanding you will have of the editor's needs and desires.
By all means, the list is not conclusive. But it's a starting point for understanding the thoughts and feelings editors have right now. Media pitching and relations are a little bit shot these days, taking the time to fix these can only improve results.
Don't forget to check out our press release example page. Find examples for any situation and company to find inspiration.