As much as one would hate to admit it, not all publications are the same. While landing coverage is a great achievement by itself, the type of publication plays a huge role in determining its effect.
Of course, The Washington City Paper covering your story is not the same as The Washington Post, offering you a chance to feature on its pages!
So before you pop the champagne and celebrate your PR success, let’s take a look at the different digital publication types and how to appeal to them.
What are the Different Types of Publications?
Before you get your brand in front of the audience, you need to first understand the concept of media tiers. Typically, digital publications can be divided into three broad categories, namely:
Here’s what each of these means:
Top-Tier publication or tier-one media should be the aspirational goal for every PR professional. It covers well-known media and publication houses such as the New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Fortune, Washington Post, Business Insider, Entrepreneur, Inc., etc., that have national reach, along with high circulation. Positioning your client in any one of these top-tier publications can earn you the repute of a seasoned PR specialist. It gets your clients noticed, establishes their brand, builds credibility, and offers widespread exposure.
In short, the top-tier publication is the holy grail of all digital publications, and every type of publication prepares you for a platform as big as this.
Trade publication follows a more targeted approach wherein you try to get your client’s name within niche business circuits. Such a strategy is highly effective for B2B businesses, such as F&B, manufacturing, construction, services, security, hospitality, manufacturing, and more.
Scoring a trade publication allows you to project your client as an industry leader through thought leadership articles, analysis of industry trends, editorials, or solution-oriented write ups. These publications may get circulated through the medium of magazines, event brochures, or industry-specific newsletters. In some cases, these digital publications may even make their way offline into print publications.
As the name indicates, regional publications serve a particular geographical metropolitan market. For such a case, you could consider focusing on regional publication outlets such as local newspapers, such as the Chicago Tribune, LA Times, Boston Globe, or The Miami Herald if your target audience belongs to such areas.
Placing your media on such platforms could be a key part of your PR strategy and will get your client noticed by the right kind of people. It always helps to adopt a few local flair and flavors to keep things more interesting for the said region.
How to Pitch to Different Types of Publications?
Following are a few tips and tricks to help you pitch to the different types of publications:
Pitching to Top-Tier Publications
- Perform extensive research on the past/recent works, beats, and background of the reporter you wish to work with. Even if you are pitching something that the reporter has already covered, give it a fresh twist to capture their interest.
- Rather than focusing on the client and their story, tie the narration to the latest trends and events so that it plays out naturally. Support it with facts and figures to emphasize the amount of research that has gone into it.
- Always be flexible and available to accommodate the reporter as per their time. On the same note, be realistic about your expectations and practice patience.
Pitching to Trade Publications
- Lose the jargon-heavy language and convey your ideas in simple words for greater effectiveness, both for your reporter and your readers.
- Leverage case studies and first-party information to demonstrate how your product or service supports customers.
- Capitalize on the information shared in the magazine or trade publication’s editorial calendar to run effective pitches as per timelines.
Pitching to Regional Publications
- Even if the coverage is of national importance, develop a local angle to establish relevance.
- Establish your familiarity with the region or incorporate a personal anecdote to build a connection.
- Be unafraid to incorporate local terminology or references to gain credibility as a regional expert.
Similarities Between the Pitches to Different Publications
Some themes may appear common while pitching to different types of publications. These are:
- While it may be a no-brainer, it needs to be said – know the ins and outs of your client and their story to avoid any embarrassments.
- Ensure that your story aligns with the interests of the prospect’s target audience.
- Go through all the writing and submission guidelines as requested by the host.
Differences Between the Pitches to Different Publications
Despite the similarities, there is a defined time and place for every type of publication. Accordingly, the pitches may vary in the following ways:
- Some digital publications prefer a detailed article, while others may only require an outline or a hook.
- While some publishing houses do not mind an occasional reminder or follow-up, some may consider the same to be spam.
- Fostering personalized relationships with reporters may work in some types of publications, while it may be frowned upon in others.
Rome wasn’t built in a day. Neither were the customers who made it to top-tier publications. Digital publications are a fickle mistress that belongs to none. The point is to continue brainstorming and master the art of pitching until you make your way to the top!
Want more PR tips? Follow along with our media guide to learn more about how newsrooms are structured, the approval process of articles, and so much more!