Reaching out to journalists can be the hardest part of a content promotion strategy. Somehow you have to find the right person at a publication, craft a pitch that you hope will grab their attention, and then… the waiting game.
Luckily, there are plenty of tools out there to make this process less painful! Here are some of our favorite tools for journalist outreach, many of these tools are free but others require you to submit a request to receive pricing information.
These are tools that will help you locate the specific journalist you will need to reach.
Twitter gets a lot of love in the outreach world, but LinkedIn has some great advantages – You can research your target publications in-depth and take a look at the public profiles of the journalists you want to reach. This can give you valuable insights into their interests, stories they have posted recently, and questions they are looking to answer!
Twitter is a great tool for researching potential targets, allowing you to read a top-of-mind feed for the journalist of your choice. Many journalists include their publication in their bios, and post tweets looking for sources for upcoming stories.
Hashtags like #SEM, #SEO, #PPC, #GOOGLE, etc are all great when timing postings to coincide with trending news streams (like new Google reports and best of practice Adwords blogs). Twitter is king for what’s current, but can be pretty average or worse when not publishing into hype. Most targeting can be very effective if directed at blogs though (the comment section, getting involved as a brand) because everybody who sees your post there is there to consume content just like yours, including journalists.
Journalisted is a free site where users can access data about journalists, search articles they have written, and set up alerts for new content. If you have a particular journalist in mind from your social research, this is a great site to visit next!
Cision is a research and analytics tool for PR Professionals. The toolset alows you to research potential influencers, distribute press releases and track coverage, as well as research tools for social media insights. This is marketed as an ‘all-in-one’ platform, combining research, connection, and amplification tools.
Price: Available By Request
A little different from other influencer research tools, Pitching Notes also allows PR Professionals to share tips and expertise in the outreach process, as well as allowing users (both journalists and experts) to create searchable profiles and connect.
Price: Free to Join!
This is a powerful research tool for finding journalists who would be interested in writing about your topic. Users can search by product or service, and will receive an emailed list of journalists with social profiles, the publications they write for, and a short bio.
These are tools that help you find journalists who are looking for help, quotes, interviews, or other expertise that you can provide.
MyBlogU allows journalists to create projects for research that they need, asking a large community of experts for quotes, interviews, and resources. This can be an awesome resource for you as you are creating content for your site, and on the other end, you can answer questions and provide value to reporters.
Expertise Finder is another simple resource for journalists to find expertise. New users can register as Experts or Journalists, and pose questions, ask for interviews, and more! If you are an expert in any subject matter, I would advise registering as an expert – You will be asked for social media profiles, any video media appearances you have given, and a bio with links to research.
SourceBottle is a great tool for connecting journalists and sources, plus many other tools for PR and Event Management. Whether you are looking for a source to quote, or you are an expert looking for publicity, SourceBottle can connect you to the people you need! Journalists and bloggers create ‘call outs’ that are emailed to a wide list of subject matter experts, and potential experts receive 2 emails a day with all the ‘call outs’ in their field.
ProfNet is a similar ‘connection tool’ like the ones above, by PR Newswire. Whether you are an expert or journalist, you can use these tools to access a substantial network and connect to a source or journalist. This one is not free, but it does come with a larger network than many free options – But this is a pro-tool more in line with the needs of PR Professionals and journalists rather than bloggers and small brands.
Price: Request Pricing for Experts
Muck Rack is yet another connection tool for journalists and subject matter experts – but unlike ProfNet, Muck Rack is geared more towards experts looking to get publicity. The tool allows you to find relevant journalists. Organize them into lists, and see who is sharing your content. It also features an alert system so you can monitor mentions in real time!
Price: Request Pricing
PR Leads is one of the original media connection tools, with a large degree of customization and a large base of users and journalists to draw from. Again, this tool is not free and starts at $99 a month, but it does include access to coaching resources from founder Dan Janal.
Price: Starts at $99/Month
Pitchrate is a free connection tool for journalists and experts. By becoming a verified expert, you are eligible for free leads on stories and resources to become the resource that a reporter needs!
News Certified Exchange is another connection tool for journalists and subject matter experts, targeted largely at broadcast news outlets looking for resources for stories and on-air interviews. As a subject matter expert, you are given a detailed profile including a bio, contact information, story pitches, certifications, and a video clip.
Price: Request pricing for experts.
Media Kitty is a connection tool with a community mindset. It’s free to start an account and set up your profile as a subject matter expert!
Price: Free for basic plans, premium pricing here.
JournoRequests pulls requests from twitter into an email delivered to you daily. It’s a fairly simple platform, and you have a large degree of control over the industries, verticals and keywords that are sent to your inbox.
These are distribution tools to help get your content and press releases in front of more interested journalists.
BusinessWire is a multifaceted press release, outreach, and PR toolkit. This is best for larger brands, but it allows you to distribute press releases to a wide range of target publications, with analytics and website services also offered.
Price: Free membership, pay per release.
MarketWired offers a wide range of resources, including Resonate (social news distribution and influencer targeting), Influencers (journalist/expert connection and research), press release and news distribution, and Mediahub media database. The price point for these tools can be high, but it is still a great option for larger brands with diverse PR needs.
Price: Request Pricing
Release Wire is a distribution and contact management platform that markets itself on cutting out the spam from the distribution process, delivering highly targeted press releases and pitches to journalists for a higher response rate.
For more tips on media outreach for digital marketing, check out this great article by PR Daily!