Public relations pros already know that they need to work harder than ever before to get their pitches and stories covered. Today, there are fewer reporters at papers and magazines and these reporters are covering even more beats – adding to their already hectic workload.
With journalists reporting on an increased range of topics than ever before, not only do publicists need to work harder at capturing their attention, they also need to take into consideration which stories will drive traffic to a media outlet’s website when pitching.
This is known as pageview journalism. Reporters are less inclined to cover a story unless it will drive page views on their website. Some journalists receive compensation for the number of unique visitors they bring to a website each month. Pageview journalism can also be factored into their performance reviews.
So how does this affect public relations professionals? Publicists need to factor in the importance of page views in their strategy, which includes adapting their pitches to follow this concept, and refining language to incorporate how their story will drive page views, and begin an open dialogue with reporters.
Adapt your pitch
Adapt your pitch to include not only a compelling angle, but also how this story will drive page views and traffic to the media outlet’s website. Explain to the reporter how you will help promote the story and share links through other digital media assets (blogs, newsletters, etc.) to help drive traffic and page views. Clarify how you will help distribute the story to potentially untapped audiences by promoting it on your company’s or client’s social media assets. This will help to cross-promote the news to drive page views and increase the value of your story.
Get to the point
Dan Janal, author of “Reporters are Looking for You!” explains that you need to include sentences in your pitch such as, “This story will generate page views,” and “Your online readers will be interested in this story because…” This approach directly appeals to today’s swamped reporter, who is writing for more than one beat and sometimes multiple publications.
Start an open dialogue
Ask reporters what they’re looking for in a story to drive page views. Different media drive page views in different ways. Some websites have a narrowly-targeted audience, while others may reach a broader audience. It is important to take this into consideration when pitching a story and leveraging what the reporter already knows about driving news and traffic back to their website.
The role of public relations professionals continues to evolve. Given today’s media landscape and technological advances in recent years, a good story isn’t always enough. Publicists now need to pay close attention to pageview journalism and incorporate how they can help drive traffic in their strategies.