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Joseph J. Sherman talks with Jason Barnard about effective media cadence for PR.
Joseph Sherman is a multi-talented professional with an awesome record of success in customer contacts and communication tactics. He has a wealth of experience in executing initiatives that boost sales, consumer engagement and media attention. He earned his bachelor’s degree from the University of California, San Diego, and his master’s degree from KEDGE Business School, a Grande Ecole de Commerce et de Management.
The success of an effective PR outreach strategy is not measured only by the immediate outcome of a campaign, it is necessary to see the long term payback. A good PR outreach campaign will have a “sales” approach, and will look to the long term – relationships that campaign builds with journalists, editors, bloggers or podcasters will benefit you or the company in the long run, as long as you actively work to maintain them.
In this episode, the brilliant Joseph J. Sherman illustrates how you should implement a sales approach to PR and establish a good relationship with your PR contacts (writers, interviewers, journalists, editors, bloggers or podcasters). Treat them like you would a sales prospect – in order to get them on board, you need to know them well and understand their goal.
As always, the show ends with passing the baton… Joseph incredibly turns over to next week’s delightful guest, Brie Anderson.
What you’ll learn from Joseph J. Sherman
- 00:00 Joseph J. Sherman and Jason Barnard
- 00:23 Joseph J. Sherman’s Brand SERP
- 03:16 Sales Idea Based on a Cadence Approach
- 07:30 How to Evaluate a Quality PR Lead
- 09:53 Understand Journalists’ Goal and Help Them towards a Relevant Publication
- 13:07 Know the Writer or Person to Reach Out to
- 15:05 Establish a Positive Business Relationship with an Interviewer
- 16:55 How to Keep Good Relationship Between Projects with Authors, Journalists, and Bloggers
- 18:40 Effective Cold Calling Strategy
- 27:00 Passing the Baton: Joseph J. Sherman to Brie Anderson
This episode was recorded live on video February 01st 2022
Recorded live at Kalicube Tuesdays (Digital Marketing Livestream Event Series). Watch the video now >>
How to Build a Successful and Effective PR Outreach Strategy – Joseph J Sherman’s Approach
Qualify Media Leads From Marketing Campaigns As Sales Opportunities
In this episode, Joseph mentions that his approach is based on cadence. As he defines it, cadence is an idea of how you want to reach your own customer. Is it going to be a combination of SEO, social media, cold calling, warm leads, and whatever that combination is, however you want to reach the person you are trying to reach.
It’s important that you communicate with the person you are trying to reach in terms of their time, if you are in a different time zone, and that you treat them like a “real” lead. In a normal sale, you can figure out roughly how valuable a particular lead might be, but with PR, Joseph says, it’s “opaque.” In the beginning, you cannot really tell how valuable a particular lead can be because the reach is not that big yet. You cannot necessarily quantify the value of a particular lead unless you already know how much coverage you are going to get, or there’s already a date set for when it will be published.
In today’s digital media, as a marketer you always have a lot on your mind, maybe goals you want to achieve, information you want to share on different platforms, you want the information to appear in your Brand SERP when people search for you, you want to attract customers with the information you shared, or maybe you are working on some projects related to that information. You have a sequence of things you’d like to do, but it’s very rare that people think about what media leads have in their mind.
In line with all the goals you have in mind and want to achieve, a journalist, for example, is looking for something specific for their content or website, but it’s not exactly the best way to force something on them. Just like you, they have goals, and it’s important for them that you see and understand their goals as well.
Establish A Content Cadence For Your Brand
It’s important to work hand-in-hand with your media representatives to come up with great ideas for publishing an article or information you’d like to share to your audience. By working side-by-side with them, you can try to learn and connect with their writing style.
Also, when communicating with a journalist or writer, bear in mind that they too have their own style and interests and that your two ideas should match.
Overall, it’s about building a positive relationship where each party understands what you are both looking for, respects the other’s time frame, and understands that you have different points of view.
In sales, for example, you tend to think and offer everything the customer needs because you want to please them so badly that you want to close the deal; but with PR, it’s different. It’s about understanding your customer’s point of view and trying to tie your ideas together so that you have a well-crafted piece of content that leads to better results.
Start the Relationship
As Joseph suggests, think a little about who you really want to reach. Then you are already in a position to build and maintain a positive relationship with that person or writer. You can also build a relationship by learning about the writer’s organization and personal goals. So the more you think about not only the goal of publication, but also the “bigger” long-term goal, the more you build a positive relationship with that person and gain their trust.
Build Long-Term Trusting Relationships
Joseph’s next step is to determine the shelf life of the article and find out how Google treats them and what their domain authority is. Even more important is to know what your relationship is with that particular person, the person who is interviewing you or that you are communicating with.
When building a long-term and trusting relationship with your media partner, do not just consider the one-time collaboration, but also try to build a relationship that you can both sustain over time. It’s good to have a relationship where you can communicate with each other at will at any time, where that person can interview you now, six months down the road, or maybe a year down the road when you come up with another publication or book, or when some other important event has taken place and they need you as an expert.
In this way, the relationship you want to build can move to a higher level where you can build value and cadence, not only in the article but also in the collaboration.
Proactively Seek New Media Opportunities
You need to keep the ball rolling over time and not “wear out” the existing contacts and channels for your PR. View this ongoing process of new media opportunities in much the same way the company would pursue new business opportunities. Arrange meetings or calls between journalists, bloggers and key team members in a similar manner to how you arrange meetings with potential customers and sales managers.
Remember, it’s important to stay connected. You can follow, like and read their site, listen to their podcast or search them in Google to keep the relationship “fresh.” You are not really looking for another feature, just interact with them and keep the relationship going.
Another tip from Joseph in this episode is to be able to engage with people on social media a little bit so they can recognize who you are before you can even contact them. You can not just show up in their feed and say, “Hi, can you write an article about me?” because that’s definitely not the best way to approach them.
Joseph also says that being proactive in finding new media opportunities is a way to be a resource, not someone who takes something. You do not necessarily have to offer yourself as a possible source, but can simply say, “I like your article. This is interesting,” you are already building a relationship.
Finally, remember that this is a process. Just because you have talked to them for an hour does not mean you are already #1 on their list. You have to keep in mind that you are not the only one they are talking to. Let us say they have a list of 10 people who are dealing with the same issues you are. Set your expectations right and instead of comparing, you can be thankful that you are at least on their list. Always remember that journalists, bloggers, writers and authors have a schedule and the results may not be immediate, but that does not mean it’s not effective or will not bring you a positive result.