With the rise of digital marketing has come a depreciation in traditional.
In fact, it’s not uncommon to hear people say:
- Print is dead.
- PR is dead.
- Traditional advertising is dead.
To suggest such absolutes may drive interest (and inevitably, clicks) but it’s not the whole story. Many of the more traditional marketing avenues have certainly seen their share of tough times as of late, but mass extinction? Not so much.
Instead, many of these tactics have evolved and have been translated to fit in alongside efforts across digital channels. One, in particular, would be that of public relations and media pitching.
The Advantages of Press Coverage for Real Estate Agents
When thinking about your real estate marketing strategy, it shouldn’t be subject to an all-or-nothing approach.
After all, you wouldn’t focus all of your efforts on developing social media channels alone and expect to continuously drive all of the ROI you’d need to stay in business. There are many moving parts in motion that contribute to your real estate brand awareness, with one of those parts involving the need to pitch stories to online publications.
Here’s why you’ll want to focus at least some of your marketing efforts on pitching real estate reporters:
It Benefits SEO
When another website links to yours, it’s a signal to Google that someone else is vouching for you. But, not all backlinks are good links. The website linking to you must be authoritative and not deemed as spam.
And how do you acquire backlinks?
Good old fashioned story pitching, my friend. Securing features through online publications that are high trafficked, quality sources is a great way to drive authoritative links back to your website.
If you’re publishing content on your website, be sure to also publish your articles on LinkedIn and connect with real estate specific writers. Lots of journalists use LinkedIn on a daily basis for connecting with subject matter experts and generating new story ideas.
It Drives Referrals
It’s a no-brainer; other people and organisations vouching on behalf of your brand is more likely to drive a return than just you constantly promoting yourself. Potential customers put a lot of weight in word of mouth. And press helps in driving just that, as a reputable third party.
It Builds Reputation
It’s one thing to write an expert article hosted on your own blog. It’s another thing to write an expert article that is then hosted through another highly trusted publication. The more you get the word out and develop relationships with media in the community, the better you’re able to build a name and drive the kind of reputation others want to stand behind.
7 Tips for Making a Persuasive Pitch to Real Estate Reporters & Publications
As with any marketing tactic, there’s no single, perfect approach. A lot of your learnings will come from trial and error.
However, as a real estate agent, there are a handful of key elements to keep in mind when crafting a persuasive pitch to real estate reporters and digital publications.
#1: Do Your Research, Organize Your Outreach
Before you start shooting off those emails, set yourself up for success and do the research.
Start by creating a spreadsheet that tracks every relevant outlet on a local, regional, and national level. Who are the real estate heavy hitters in each territory? Are there less obvious publications that release relevant content under ‘home’ or ‘style’ categories? Do they follow a noticeable story distribution cadence?
Breaking out efforts in this way will help you approach each publication much more efficiently. You will also be able to pitch stories in a relatable way when separating the local papers from the big players.
#2: Go Beyond Publication Alone and Target the Writers
If you’re sending mass emails to generic addresses like ‘firstname.lastname@example.org’, the likelihood of your pitches being well received is fairly low. These inboxes tend to be blanketed with a high volume of pitches on a regular basis.
Instead, consider tracking down contact information for specific real estate reporters instead based on the subject matter they focus on. If you can’t find a relevant email, go the route of social instead, since many reporters stay active on platforms like Twitter or LinkedIn.
If you end up catching the eye of a particular writer and are able to develop a strong connection, it becomes more likely that they proactively reach out to in the future, for additional stories.
#3: Stay on Beat
In journalistic terms, ‘beat’ refers to a journalist’s area of focus.
If you’re pitching to larger publications that cover a variety of topics, it’s especially important to narrow in on contacts that’ll prove most relevant to the world of real estate. This same rule applies to smaller outlets as well, even if the areas of expertise per reporter are a bit less narrow in focus.
Just remember, you’re not the only one pitching these real estate reporters on a daily basis. In order to stand out amongst the competition, you’re going to have to get personal. Don’t just copy and paste templates on repeat without considering who’s sitting on the receiving end!
#4: Give Weight to Relationships
You build relationships with your potential customers through thoughtful, content-based funnels. Why shouldn’t you apply a similar approach to developing connections with real estate reporters as well?
You’re selling something after all: a story. And if a reporter has no prior knowledge of who you are or what your business is all about, they’re not going to immediately forge a partnership without a bit of back and forth.
Tell them you’re fan of their work. Reference a recent article they wrote and why you found it useful.
Consider saving the hard sell for later down the email pipeline once solid rapport and the authority of your business has been established.
#5: Find the Right Angle
Once you’re off to the races and drafting initial emails to media contacts, it’s incredibly important to approach them with an angle in mind. This is all about speaking to the aforementioned interests of the reporter, timeliness, and an ability to drive traffic.
Here are some tips to help find a good angle:
Take Recent Stories into Account
If you can tie your pitch in with subject matter a reporter has covered in the past, it’s an easy way to establish both relevance on behalf of your story and interest in that reporter’s previous work. Familiarity is a great way to trigger curiosity that inspires an initial email open.
This tactic is a result of spinning a recent, major news story in relation to your business and/or industry. If there’s a current hot topic within your community, see if you can come at it in a way that further drills down into its implications for real estate, specifically.
Part of your research process when initially building a list of contacts should involve listing out relevant, high performing articles shared out from each publication.
In your pitches, you can then more readily use an ‘if this, then that’ approach. Better yet, if you can repurpose a high performing piece of content from your own channels in a way that would be appealing to another publication, you can use more granular performance metrics to shape a persuasive pitch.
#6: Pitch Stories in Various Formats
When reaching out to media outlets, you don’t have to limit your real estate pitches to long-form articles alone. In fact, suggesting various content types will help in differentiating you from the competition.
This could be realised by suggesting content that includes infographics, polls, slideshows, or videos. The more you can highlight not just the written content of your story, but potential visuals to include, the more valuable your pitch becomes.
#7: Don’t Underestimate the Subject Line
Your subject line is the deciding factor in whether or not a reporter will even read your pitch to begin with. Because of this, you’ll want to be incredibly thoughtful about how you frame it. Crafting truly great subject lines is about establishing intrigue and personal relevance.
A few ideas for great subject lines:
- Call out a reporter’s’ recent share on Twitter that caught your eye.
- Use the potential headline of your pitched story.
- Reveal the type of content you’ll be featuring within your suggested article.
In general, think about what would make you open an email if you were on the receiving end and don’t assume your businesses’ name alone will be enough to drive clicks. The power’s in the context.