How To Find Press Opportunities
Unless your name is Beyoncé or Oprah, press opportunities won't fall into your lap. It's up to you to find them. Whenever I'm performing media outreach on behalf of a client, I have a few "go to" methods that have proven to be very effective:
Social media has given us free reign to stalk anyone on the web. I unashamedly stalk magazine editors, bloggers, journalists, and anyone else who runs a publication or platform that may be interested in my client's story. Often they'll directly tweet out projects they're working on with specific instructions on how to contact them. They may even explicitly state "currently accepting pitches," which means email them ASAP. You never want to miss an opportunity to connect with an editor when they're actively looking for people or brands to feature. Plus, if you've ever pitched an editor in the past, it's always a good idea to keep in touch with them on social media.
Help A Reporter Out, also known as HARO, is an online service created to help journalists gather sources, expert commentary, and product samples for their stories. If a journalist is writing about a certain subject and needs the point of view of an industry expert (aka you!), you can submit a pitch directly to them. When you sign up for an account (a basic one is completely free), you choose which types of queries you'd like to receive, such as fitness, lifestyle, or business. You'll then start receiving daily roundups of journalist queries via email.
Hashtags aren't just for #NationalTequilaDay and #ThrowbackThursday. Many journalists and editors tag their tweets with specific hashtags to attract brands, influencers, and PR pros. Some of the most popular hashtags include #JournoRequest, #PRrequest, #HelpAReporter, and #BloggerRequest. It takes patience to sift through hundreds of tweets at a time, but if it leads to landing a feature, it'll be worth it. I usually check these hashtags a few times a week to stay up to date on any possible opportunities for my clients.
Facebook groups are an intimate place for like-minded people and those in similar industries to connect online. Very often I see posts in these forums from bloggers and writers looking for brands to feature on their sites, from interviews to guest blogging to gift guides. They would much rather work with someone they've gotten to know in a private group over a random source they've never spoken to. If you haven't joined a Facebook group for your industry yet, I highly suggest you do. Opportunities pop up almost daily.
Word of mouth
Once you've built up a nice reputation, whether as a publicist representing a client or an individual brand doing PR for yourself, people might start sending opportunities your way, simply through word of mouth. In case you didn't know already, public relations is ALL about relationships. Show up to networking events, business brunches, webinars, and creative conferences. You never know when you might bump into an editor, blogger, or journalist who's interested in featuring your brand.
Finding press opportunities for yourself or your brand may seem daunting, but if you use these tools, your next feature might be closer than you think.