Quality vs. Quantity: How to Engage Journalists


Quality trumps quantity when it comes to digital marketing today, making a company’s brand feel more personable in the long run. We live in a time of transparency, and consumers desire a sense of authenticity that instills familiarity and trust.

Consider your week and the numerous tasks on your to-do list; both stressful. Now, think about the frequency of interactions you have with others — both in work and your personal life. In that time, how many of your interactions are digital? And how many ads would you estimate you see?

Research has found that the average consumer may see as many as 4,000 to 10,000 ads daily. But what is the average number of ads that engage the consumer? The answer is less than 100 ads each day. It makes sense; it’s simply a matter of self-preservation; businesses need to focus more on engagement and quality and less on quantity and numbers. And, the same goes for PR specialists when engaging with journalists, taking a quality over quantity pitching approach.

Here are some best practices and tips to help align with a quality vs. quantity strategy, moving your pitch from the graveyard of reporters’ inboxes to living and breathing on their publication’s website or magazine pages.

Find the right one

PR specialists used to pitch their clients' noteworthy news to just about anybody and everyone who would read it back in the day. To increase their chances of landing one, professionals would produce and send mass emails to every newspaper imaginable, many of which were not particularly aligned with their clients' products or target audiences.

Today, PR professionals need to abandon the mass pitching strategy of the past. Instead of crossing their fingers and throwing a dart into the dark, PR specialists need to spend time, researching and narrowing down journalists who best fit their pitch, tailoring it to their clients’ expertise and demographics.

Now with social media right at our fingertips, it can play a vital role in determining the right reporter. For instance, check out their Twitter or LinkedIn accounts to get connected or scroll on their publications’ staff pages to gauge the best fit. This is a great way to weed through the already crowded landscape, narrowing down quantity to find the quality right for you. There are many resources to find the right one, it’s simply just taking the time to do so— which ultimately can make or break getting your pitch picked up.

Get familiar

Once you have determined the right journalist or a narrowed few for you, a crucial step is getting familiar with their work. After scrolling through their online presence, make sure you are connected, not just following them, on social media. This is not only a way to stay on top of what they are covering and most interested in, but also allows you to build a deeper, more meaningful relationship with them.

Furthermore, you can get a better feel for their type of work such as their writing style or preferred medium, taking it one step more to help determine if they truly are a right fit for you. And if so, don’t be afraid to make it known that you keep up with their work in your pitch. By alluding to a recent article or interview, this can help grab their attention, opening the door to a potential opportunity.

Ex: "Enjoyed your recent article on X … I found it interesting that …"

Make it personal

Lastly as a PR professional, you shouldn’t view journalists simply as a tool for a media pitch. Curating professional relationships is the best way to make sure your stories are noticed. These and other professional interactions will lay down the groundwork of a strong working relationship.

For example, engage with journalists and influencers on social media, adding value and traction to their posts. Go beyond just simply clicking the like button, and instead comment and/or reshare it to your network, opening up the floor for a greater conversation. Although many argue that social media has created a digital disconnect between us, it also is leverage for endless connections, helping make our circles bigger and brighter for more opportunities.

By taking a quality vs. quantity pitching approach, not only will you find the perfect journalists to pick up your pitch, but you’ll also have a way to make the process more seamless in the future. What’s better than that?

Interested in learning more about how a quality vs. quantity pitching approach can enhance your PR and marketing efforts? Contact us.   

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