Yesterday I came across an article, “how to get published in top outlets in a single shot,” by Taral Patel. I was immediately interested in what Patel had to say. I believe there is an art to pitching and building relationships with media outlets and it isn't as easy as Patel claims.
Patel outlines six reasons you likely won’t be published, which I happen to agree with:
“Your content needs to be creative, engaging, and audience-centric, not brand-centric.” I agree. It is critically important to be sure your content is tailored to fit the publication you are pitching.
Then he goes on to say, “one of the most common approaches is to build an interactive relationship with journalists and editors from the top publications. Though this is an excellent tactic, it is often not adequate to quench your content marketing thirst, especially if you are dealing with multiple clients from different niches simultaneously.”
This is where I disagree. I don’t think that simply developing relationships guarantees coverage. But when you have a good working relationship with a reporter or editor, you have the added benefit of discussing content in advance, determining if your organization or client’s viewpoint fits the editorial guidelines of the media outlet. From these discussions you not only gain important information for that client, but for all future pitches to the same publication.
What Patel says is the best way is through publication-tailored content. Basically getting the editor (or main decision maker) involved in the idea process and seeing what content they need and then tailoring your content to fit. I would agree that this would be a beneficial way to secure a story, but without a previous mutual relationship with said reporter/editor, I think it would be very difficult to be involved in this type of early conversation.