What is the best way to approach editors?
I want to start a PR campaign but am not sure how to best approach editors. I have put together a list of several publications I would like to get into. Are most editors responsive to cold emails or do they only respond to agencies they have relationships with? I have several interesting angles, I just want to maximize my chances of getting noticed. Thanks for your advice.
I would examine the media outlets to learn what kind of value do they bring to their readers/viewers.
What kind of articles or videos are most viewed?
What are their audiences interested in?
Which topics are eagerly discussed (in case of online media outlets)?
Once you understand the interests of their viewers, make sure your PR campaign contains a story that these audiences will be interested in. Once you do that, the editors, who are always on a lookout for stories attractive for their viewers, will be more reluctant to give you coverage. After all, viewership is what keeps them in business.
For example, in video games industry crowdfunded games gained massive attention from the press when many gamers complained about big publishers forcing development studios to cut corners and deliver low quality products on time instead of taking extra couple of months to polish all the details. With all this ranting on online forums, companies who used crowdfunding in their PR messaging suddenly became super-appealing to audiences worldwide. Make sure the story you want to get covered by media is also super-appealing.
To sum it up: analyze the audiences of media outlets you want to target and cater to them. Thanks to that, the editors will be more likely to write about you.
Jack: I am not an expert in PR but I am an expert in business development in the online media space. If you want to create a relationship with an editor at an online publication, go to their website and locate the number for the editorial department, then pickup the phone and call them. Let them experience the enthusiasm that you have for the idea through the tonality of your voice. Email cannot reproduce that. If you are excited and you can make them excited (and of course the idea has to have merit and generate interest for their readers), you will have the makings of a deal. So few people use the phone to communicate these days, it may be a breath of fresh air for the editor you are targeting.
While Scott is right about picking up the phone, Maciej has the right idea for positioning.
The editor of a mag doesn't care if you're enthusiastic about your product, because that's your job.
You need to tap into why they need to cover your product/service.
That requires you to think about why you are doing this, what the product can do for the audience and then pitching the messages (NOT sales messages) to the editorial team.
If you can't do that, buy an advertisement, because that is probably what you want to do, but haven't the imagination. That's ok, you're not alone in that, which is why the PR industry exists.
Sadly we have also experienced this. We have had to try and access these people via a marketing company in the form of a press release. It's cost us around £400 for two press releases, though they originally wanted £800. Just shows how much they add on!