Bringing Out Your Message
Welcome to Lesson #7 of the course.
Now you have your digital press release ready (at least in your mind 😉), and all you want is to get your message across.
Everybody wants their content to spread quickly, to become viral, but the truth is that it usually takes time. You should be patient and start engaging your network first, to those who are within your reach, and allow time to let things slowly expand.
Also, on a long-term plan, you should build relations. Don’t ask and disappear. Focus on building, step by step, solid relationships with the people who support you, be it bloggers, journalists, or influencers. Your end goal is having long-term engagement and not just a burst of shares. If you have a small but committed audience that spreads your message for you, your brand will be much more powerful. That’s why aiming with accuracy is key in digital PR.
That said, it doesn’t mean you can’t try to go viral. A way to do that is “seeding.” It means sharing your content with a selected network in a short period of time to quickly reach a good initial response and consequently activate a major participation in the audience. Basically, you plant your content in the most fertile ground to let it grow as fast as possible. It’s about contacting influencers, connecting with bloggers, reaching out to your best supporters, and making sure the first feedback you get is amazing.
The prerequisite is having already created a trusted and valuable network of people you often engage with—a network of relations you can activate as necessary.
Now, how do you send your message the right way? How do you reach out to the people who can help you?
How to Write Your Email
The key in digital PR is to not push your message but let it travel instead.
A good message with the potential to spread is, above all:
• relevant to the target you’re sending it to
Got those all checked off? Then it’s time to write your email, one that actually gets opened, read, and triggers an action—whatever action you wish. Sounds hard? It is. In fact, most emails are ignored. So, first of all, make sure you’re not getting the basics wrong:
• Write an interesting subject line. Remember, a subject line’s main purpose is just to get the email opened.
• If they don’t know you, introduce yourself clearly and mention any connection you have with the person you’re writing to.
• Keep your email short and the structure light, using short sentences and paragraphs.
• Craft a clear message that can be easily understood.
• Be honest and straightforward. Are you asking for something? Don’t hide your request, and don’t put it at the end of your email. State it clearly.
• Be friendly and informal, but polite and respectful at the same time.
• Try to include your attachment in the email body or include an excerpt if the attachment is too long (this works for press releases, not for big photos).
• Include links for further information (and to download any large files).
• Don’t offer too many choices: what do you want the reader to do? Including five links and three attachments isn’t very likely to push the reader into action. Give them just one or two options instead.
• Use questions. They make the message much more engaging and more likely to get an answer.
• As always, proofread!
Is this enough to have journalists and influencers share your news? Unfortunately, it’s not. That’s why tomorrow, I’m going to reveal a few specific tips to connect with the hard-to-gets.
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