Editorial marketing opens up the possibility of placing specialist articles, user reports or opinion pieces by experts from companies in relevant media. Many editorial offices are open to PR consultants or companies submitting their own topic suggestions. In this way, specialist articles that are as practical as possible are included in the publications, and the range of topics is broad.
However, a few basic rules have to be observed to ensure that contacting the editorial office and placing a topic are successful. Those who adhere to these can use targeted editorial marketing to place their topics in the opinion market and strengthen their reputation. You can download the summary as a practical guide here: Praxisleitfaden Redaktionsmarketing
Setting topics correctly and skillfully
First of all, you should get an overview of which topics you can and want to communicate as a company and how you place them. Are you wondering how to find the right magazines, online media or even daily newspapers? It’s simple: The topic and editorial plans of most magazines and newspapers usually offer a detailed overview of which topic is covered in which issue. So evaluate the media data of those publications that match your topics. In addition to the main topics, you will also find important time details such as the editorial and advertising deadlines or the publication date of an issue, as well as the relevant editorial contacts. And last but not least, you should always familiarize yourself thoroughly with the publication itself. Read magazines and newspapers regularly. This will help you quickly find out if and how the medium reports on the topic you are considering.
Tip 1:Discuss as a team which topics are to be placed and for which already released content is available. Evaluate the topic plans of the relevant media and get as accurate an impression as possible of their coverage.
Know how: Pitch the topic professionally
Once a topic has been defined and you have a shortlist of suitable publications, the second step is to “sell” it to an editorial team. To do this, write a pitch e-mail, which you should address personally to the editor. In your message, refer to the issue and the appropriate topic. You should also state the assignment or company you work for and your function. To make the topic quickly accessible, you should provide the journalist with a brief synopsis in the message that succinctly states the article to be placed. Editors are often pressed for time, so it’s important to address the key messages so they can quickly grasp and evaluate the topic. In the best case, you will receive a positive response to your mail and further steps can be agreed upon. But what happens if he/she doesn’t get back to you? Then following up by phone is part of your daily business – and you should be prepared for that.
Tip 2: Have a few key points in mind so that you can describe your topic concisely but comprehensibly in the editorial call. Here, a professional exchange should be established in order to take on the role of a trusted advisor for certain specialist topics in the long term.
Exclusivity is the trump card in most cases
Start early to place an article or topic with media. This lead time is important because editorial coordination takes time. Submitting a topic proposal three days before the editorial deadline will not get you there. Let the editor know that you are offering the article exclusively. Many specialist editors now make a point of ensuring that an article does not appear in parallel in competing titles. The topic can also be proposed to other editorial offices after a deadline or after follow-up contact by telephone and a rejection. Allow the respective editorial office time to make a decision. There is no rule of thumb for this: Some respond quickly, while others take longer or require follow-up as a matter of principle.
Tip 3: Do not place a topic with several publications at the same time. As a rule, editorial offices are keen to publish content exclusively.
Editorial offices are not advertising agencies
When writing the text, make sure that the specialist articles are formulated in a neutral way. Avoid advertising messages and product-heavy texts at all costs if you want to be successful in editorial marketing. Because journalists are not advertising ambassadors of your marketing texts. Recommendations for action that illuminate a topic from different angles or technical articles that are supported by studies are ideal. User reports that convey empirical values from the perspective of third parties or expert interviews that can be arranged and coordinated with the editors are also recommended. The latter often submit a written catalog of questions. Telephone interviews, on the other hand, are becoming increasingly rare, as editors are usually under too much time pressure. This in turn is a result of the rather thin staffing levels in editorial departments.
Tip 4: Remember to write for the target group and the readership! An article for a newspaper is different from one for a trade publication. A text that addresses the production manager in a trade medium is structured differently than a text in a daily newspaper that is read by a broad readership.
Clarify key data
When you finally receive a commitment, don’t forget to ask for important key data about the article. Here is a small checklist that you should consider:
- Are there author guidelines that need to be considered when writing an article?
- What character length should the article have in total, are there length guidelines for title, lead-in and subheadings?
- In which file format should the image material be delivered? Make sure that you specify the image rights.
- When does the article have to be delivered? Adhere to deadlines.
- What author information is necessary? Is it enough to give the author’s name and function, or does the editorial team want a short vita including the author’s picture?
Tip 5: Finally, check whether you have met all the editorial team’s important criteria. A careful and timely submission is the iron rule when working with journalists. It sets the course for trust, professionalism and for the fact that, in the best case scenario, you will also receive inquiries from the editorial offices.
Maintain a lively network of journalists
Active press and media work and public relations per se thrive on good relationships and good journalist contacts. As a rule, such a network grows over the years. And if you take the tips described above to heart, you will make a good name for yourself with these journalists and be seen as a reliable and competent intermediary between the company and the editorial team. This is how successful editorial marketing works.
Tip 6: Relationships are the key to success – this is especially true in PR. Cultivate them and don’t be afraid to ask your contacts for support.
Pro Tip: Get outside advice to take your editorial marketing to the next level. As a PR agency with over 20 years of experience in the German as well as global media environment, we are happy to support you with an extensive journalist network, the right tools and databases. Together, we will get your articles into the appropriate publications.
Which of these tips do you already apply to editorial marketing and where do you see room for improvement?
You can download our practical guide with 6 steps here:Praxisleitfaden Redaktionsmarketing