When I was young, I wanted to be a famous musician. I reached out to many publications to cover my music, but no one would. At the same time, one of my closest friends, Connor, got a ton of his music covered.
Connor personalized his outreach to the bloggers. He’d write about previous posts they’d published and pitch stories around his music.
That’s when I realized there was a systematic way to get PR placements. Let’s break it down:
Types of PR Placements
This can be an interview on a podcast or a full-fledge write-up like we do on the BAMF Media blog.
- Featured Stories
This is more of a “Hey, check out the story of this team or product.”
- Paid Placements
This is when a blogger, fan page, or influencer responds, “Hey, it will cost this much for a shout out.”
- Product Reviews / Testimonials
YouTube videos rank on Google Search, too.
Why Does it Matter?
By getting PR placements, it helped build third-party credibility. It’s the difference between you saying you’re great vs. the opposing team’s coach calling you a star player. Not only does is build credibility, but it can often send a wave of traffic to your site. In our case, we use the third-party credibility to warm cold audiences with Facebook ads.
This way when we run an ad later to the same audience to visit our page, we get much more positive feedback. There are even more benefits, including building your site authority with Google. The more content you have from well-renowned sources linking to your site, the better Google will treat your site when it comes to ranking content.
Using the tool, Alexa, we can see all the websites linking into BAMF.Media.
Depending on the placement, you can get upwards to thousands of visitors from one article. If you have a story worth sharing, often you can get it placed many times from tutorial, reviews, and features which can turn PR into a scalable marketing channel.
Start with Data
To get placements, you need the contact info of journalists, podcasters, and fan pages. An easy way to get this data is to download it from BuzzSumo for journalists, have a virtual assistant scrape iTunes for podcasters, or use Socialbakers for fan pages.
For BuzzSumo, we search for content relevant to our subject matter. If we’re a tea company, then we may search “tea.” This will bring up every article about tea. We can set preferences for when these articles were written from the last 24 hours to 5 years.
The next step is to click the Export button and download this data.
Here’s what it looks like:
Once you have this data, make sure to clean it up. All you need is the author name and website URL. From there, break apart the company name from the website URL by using the Power Tools’ Google Sheet add-on. Once you do that, you can now process this data through Hunter.io to get their emails using the Email Finder feature.
You can do the same with Anyleads.
Better yet, you can use Phantombuster to get the LinkedIn URLs of the people you have in your Google Sheet using their LinkedIn Profile URL Finder API. Then you can process this into Anyleads to get their personal emails.
Contactout will also give you their personal emails. From there, you can upload this list into Facebook as a custom audience. This will give you the ability to remarket to these journalists about your company before they even get your pitch.
The same process works with Facebook fan pages using Socialbakers.
Here’s the resulting data.
There a couple of ways to do this one. You can either DM their page or use Hunter.io t0 pull employee emails from each company’s marketing department at scale.
For podcasts, select a category and/or subcategory of podcasts you want to scrape using the iTunes desktop podcast library.
Copy and paste the podcast list to Column A in a new Google sheet. Since the list is separated by alphabetical page, you will need to get a virtual assistant to copy and paste the list 27 times (A-Z, #) in order to get a complete list. Or have them use Listly’s bulk URL processor to get all the data from each page in one click.
Remove “(MP3)” and “(HD)” words from column one by using the Power Tools add-on (Add-ons > Power Tools > Remove > Remove a substring: > “(MP3)”, “(HD)” > Remove)
Update the Google sheet settings so that anyone with the shareable link can view. Run the Google Sheet through Phantombuster’s Domain Name Finder.
- Spreadsheet URL: [shareable Google sheet URL]
- Column name… : [*no text*]
- Ignored domains: [youtube.com]
Save, then launch Phantombuster. Depending on your list size, this may take a few minutes to a few hours. Export the list and upload to a new Google Sheet.
Run the Domain Name Finder worksheet through Phantombuster’s LinkedIn Company URL Finder. Export the results to a new Google Sheet. Next, run this worksheet through Phantombuster’s LinkedIn Companies Employees.
Export the results to a new Google Sheet. Format “currentJob” column so all rows contain the string “host.” From here, filter by relevant job title. Then use Linked Helper to LinkedIn message them at scale based on their LinkedIn URL and Hunter to bulk process the filtered list into emails.
This part is a bit harder. You need a virtual assistant to check out the post from each blogger and description from each podcaster. Then use a piece of it in the email or LinkedIn message. The idea here is to make it feel natural.
If the recipient feels like you sent that message only to them, then they’ll be more likely to respond to your emails and messages.
How to Structure Your Email
- Example: Pre-written personal blogger statements
- 1-2 sentence pitch
- 3-4 value props / topics of interest
- buzzworthy stories related to brand
- thought leadership / subject-matter expertise
- how we did XYZ to achieve X
- notable milestones / accomplishments
- Define Clear Call to Action (CTA)
- “Scheduling a call, interview, next steps, let’s chat”
- Sender Persona + Profile Pic
Start Your Outreach Campaign
I’d recommend using the tool Mailshake to send emails in, ideally, five-stage sequences. Sync Mailshake with Calendly using Zapier. If your main call to action is to book a call using Calendly, then you can use this Zap to take the recipient out of the sequence if they book.
Here’s an example email:
Use Your Powers Wisely
With the right story and the right recipients, you can seed the next viral story.
Imagine your product being talked about across many publications from TechCrunch to Time. Traffic. Backlinks. Customers. All at your fingertips.
Houston is the Founder & CEO of BAMF Media, where he’s led the company from 0-30+ full-time employees and $0 to $3.5M in annual revenue in its first year. At BAMF, we drive ROI for recently funded startups, SMBs, and Fortune 500 companies alike using cutting-edge marketing and growth hacking tactics. Houston has led growth teams and marketing campaigns for companies, including Pioneer, Volcom, Love Your Melon, Compass, Coldwell Banker, Mindvalley, Automobili Pininfarina, Unicorn Snot, Foursixty, TEDx, and many more. He’s a growth hacker with years of startup experience on all sides of the table: strategy, engineering, sales, marketing, fundraising, and scaling operations.