For fintechs that may be new or rusty to working with journalists, media relations can be a daunting and overwhelming task. This list includes tips that are meant to better help those looking to make the process of earning media coverage a bit less stressful and more successful.
1. Understand the outlet
The most important step in any media relations strategy is to understand the media outlet you are pitching. Some outlets may require more lead time to run their stories. For others, it may be beneficial to promote content in different formats to solicit coverage.
For example, if you are trying to earn coverage in CU Management for December to time with the CUES Directors Conference, you need to be aware of when their editorial staff is discussing that issue. Pitching them in September may be too late.
Additionally, make sure you understand the editorial guidelines and their specific process. For instance, if you’re writing a thought leadership piece for the banking market, it’s important to know that publications like American Banker prefer a full article to review versus a pitch, whereas BAI Banking Strategies prefers a pitch and outline of the topic first.
2. Build rapport with journalists & know their target audience
Fintechs and their executives should take time to build amicable relationships with journalists rather than ask for favors like backlinks to stories that reference them or to make corrections to an article that cites a recent announcement.
Read, engage with and socialize articles. As an example, if you see a compelling story in National Mortgage News that delves into Wells Fargo’s recent decision to scale back its mortgage operations, reshare it and offer up your personal take. Perhaps add in what mortgage bankers should make note of or call out specifics in the article that are particularly valuable to you.
And last, don’t pitch them irrelevant information. Similar to the constant stream of spam you receive, media receive hundreds of pitches each day. Make sure that you’re sending is actually relevant to their readers. For instance, a really great case study on a community bank in Oklahoma may be of interest to a publication like BankBeat, but not relevant to Credit Union Times.
3. Personalize your pitch
It’s also important to create a pitch specific to the journalist. Don’t send out a mass email to see what publications are interested in interviewing your company on, for instance, banking and behavioral analytics. It’s likely you won’t get a response.
Instead, be specific about why you’re contacting that reporter or editor. Have they covered a similar topic, but you have a different angle that their audience would be interested in? What about a contrary view on something recently reported on?
However, don’t go overboard if you’ve never met this person. State your purpose and keep it brief, while also relevant.