Media relations management ain’t easy. But, it ultimately comes down to knowing who to contact, proving to them that you can be a valuable resource, and keeping the communication channel open.
You don’t need to know the most people, just the right people. And that’s when media relations tools come in useful.
When you think about it, journalists really hate irrelevant pitches and endless did you get my email follow-ups. By using PR software like Prowly, you can stay in control of your media relations: get contact recommendations, see who opened your emails and read press releases, and follow up accordingly. And that’s not everything.
Here’s how to use Prowly for media relations management, to build and improve relationships that matter to your (or your client’s) brand.
- Set up a newsroom
- Add a press kit
- Create a press release (or two)
- Import your media list
- Discover new media opportunities
- Get contact recommendations
- Organize all your contacts
- Keep your PR team up to speed
- Choose relevant recipients
- Write a good email pitch
- Send emails
- Stay up-to-date with your email campaigns
- Leverage analytics
- Follow up
- Monitor media mentions
With Prowly, you can manage media relations in one place. This includes finding relevant media contacts, creating interactive press releases & targeted media lists, sending personalized email pitches, as well as maintaining journalist-friendly newsrooms. Let’s start from scratch:
1. Set up a newsroom
If you’re serious about improving media relations, creating an online newsroom can give you a head start. It’s a perfect place for all important information about your business that might interest journalists, including press releases, reports, branded content, and contact details of your PR team. Especially if you ask your media contacts first about the type of stories they’re likely to cover.
Make sure you address their needs & interests, set up your newsroom accordingly, and invite all your contacts to follow it. You can adjust the look to make it more coherent with your brand and keep it organized with dedicated tabs that will be visible in the main menu bar.
Speaking of visibility, it’s also worth mentioning that your newsroom, along with all press releases and stories published in Prowly, can be optimized for search engines. This way, they can be found by journalists more easily and become a source of quality traffic to your website.
2. Add a press kit
Once you create your newsroom, you should also consider adding a press kit to it. The media kit is usually a go-to place for all-purpose informational materials on your brand/company, easily accessible from the navigation bar. By having all important details “on display”, journalists don’t have to email you back and forth (which ultimately increases the chances of getting coverage).
To make the most of it, you might want to create thematic folders in your press kit and add different visuals, documents, and videos (hosted on YouTube or Vimeo) to it. Keep in mind that the first material you add to a folder will be displayed on its cover—but you can adjust their order and change the names in the settings panel of the press kit.
3. Create a press release (or two)
Press releases are one of the easiest ways to get your news noticed and engage with journalists. With Prowly, you can create visual press releases, send them to relevant contacts, and publish them in your newsroom.
But let’s focus on press release writing for now. Especially since it gets really straightforward with Prowly’s intuitive interface and simple drag & drop editor.
There are plenty of elements you can have in your press release to stand out from the crowd—including headers, quotes, lists, tables, and visuals. Thanks to easy asset library management, you’re able to keep all images and files that you include in your press releases perfectly organized.
After adding multiple elements to your press release, you can still change the type of any text element (i.e. quickly turn a paragraph into a quote or a heading), and reorganize everything easily—even after you’ve published or sent out your press release. This also means that you can make adjustments whenever you feel like your content is not performing as well as it could be, or you made a mistake in your press release pitch.
Another handy feature you can leverage at this stage is team collaboration. After granting them access to Prowly, you can work on your PR content together with other team members or simply send it for review to your clients. What helps, in this case, are different statuses that you can set for your press releases: Draft, Ready, Scheduled, Published.
For example, if you’re done writing but you’re waiting for feedback, you can set the status to Ready. Then, whoever is in charge of reviewing your press release, will be able to make changes, plan the publication (Scheduled) or immediately publish the reviewed content (Published). Neat, isn’t it?
4. Import your media lists
If you work in PR, your media list is essentially your secret weapon. To use it to the fullest, import all your media contacts to Prowly. There’s a dedicated spot for it, called My contacts—a CRM created for PR practitioners.
This will help you keep all contact details in one place—including added notes and history of your interactions with journalists. With the column configurator, you are also able to select what contact data you want to see in the main view.
5. Discover new media opportunities
Building a well-organized database with quality contacts is the first step in developing a media relations strategy and getting your news in front of the right people. If you don’t have relevant contacts in your database yet, you should definitely use Prowly’s Media Database.
With Prowly, you can access a Media Database with over 1 million contacts and search for the right people to pitch your news to. Just specify the location, and filter the results (by topic, role, and outlet). Once you find what you’re looking for, you can easily add the new contacts to your account.
Remember that Media Database is not a magic tool that will do all the work for you. It’s a great solution for creating an initial media contacts list, but you should still segment your contacts, and try to establish relationships before you pitch your story to relevant sources.
6. Get contact recommendations
If you want to save time on researching media contacts and creating targeted media lists, you can also leverage contact recommendations based on the contents of your press releases.
This way, you’ll always pitch journalists that are likely to be interested in your story. It can provide you with better open and click rates and also increase your media coverage opportunities.
7. Organize all your contacts
The only obligatory field in each contact card in Prowly is the email address but you should definitely try adding more information to your contacts and group them based on these details.
To make this process easier, you can add tags to your contacts. Ask yourself how important the relationship is, how strong it is, where are they located, when was the last time you connected, or any other information you may find useful when reaching out, and add your tags accordingly.
You can then group & filter them as you wish: thematically, by tags you’ve created, media type, media reach, or even by the level of industry specialization and your liking for particular journalists. This should help you choose the right audience for your pitches and personalize your messages afterward.
Don’t forget to monitor and update your media lists on a regular basis. Include it in your media relations strategy and reach out to your contacts from time to time, not only when you have a story to pitch.
8. Keep your PR team up to speed
Like most PR practitioners, you might be struggling with keeping your contacts well-organized and up-to-date, especially if you share them with other team members.
Prowly makes it easier to keep your team in the loop. Apart from sharing your media lists with the whole team, you can also add notes about your contacts, log phone calls, emails or meetings to keep track of your interactions, tag different team members, and exchange insights in discussion threads with them.
9. Choose relevant recipients
Ready to send an email pitch? Once you have all your contacts under control, it should be easier for you to choose relevant recipients. Start by choosing New Email and set its internal name. Now, here’s when the magic happens.
In the Select Recipients tab, click on Add recipients. You can then choose any Contacts, Groups, Segments, or Filters in the respective tabs. This essentially means that you can distribute your pitch to predefined groups and segments that you’ve created earlier in the CRM.
And the best part? Prowly enables very flexible recipient selection. With the same personalized email, you can easily target different lists and filters. Not to mention that Prowly’s smart suggestions will help you optimize your recipients list before launching an email distribution in order to protect the sender’s reputation and increase delivery rates.
To double-check what the final recipient list looks like in detail, you just need to move from Select Recipients to the Verify Recipients tab. Here’s also where you can exclude particular journalists from receiving your message.
10. Write a good email pitch
Even though journalists prefer to receive email pitches, the majority of top tier publishers find between 50 and 500 pitches per week in their inboxes. To cut through the clutter, you have to tailor your email pitch to its recipients—especially since email personalization tends to bring much better results in general.
When creating your email pitch in Prowly, you can personalize your message to resonate with your audience (even when you send it to hundreds or thousands of contacts from your CRM).
There are different personalization tokens to choose from—each one represents a contact property, which is why it’s worth keeping your contacts database updated and filled with as much information as possible. You can use these details to create slightly different email pitches depending on your relationship with specific recipients, their location, or specialization.
Apart from the classic, plain-text message with a link to your press release, you are also able to attach files that can be downloaded by the recipients upon clicking, add images or CTA buttons, as well as embed an entire press release you’ve created in Prowly (or its summary) into the body of your email.
Want to add preview text on top of that? No problem. The preview text of the email is a direct extension of the subject line and can definitely impact recipient engagement. You can find it below the subject line (just click the Edit button, fill the Preview text field in the newly opened window and then Save the changes).
11. Send emails
Before you send your email pitch, make sure you reviewed all the settings, put some thought into the email title, and chose the correct recipients from your media list.
All set? You can send a test email, send the mailing immediately, or schedule it for some other time.
12. Stay up-to-date with your email campaigns
Let Prowly’s email notifications help you stay up-to-date with all of your emails and keep track of their performance.
Get a reminder 1 hour before your email goes out, a summary of how it went 2 hours later, and an instant notification if it’s rejected. This way, you will never miss an important deadline or an email pitch that needs your attention.
13. Leverage analytics
After you’ve sent your emails, you can start tracking results—including open rates, click rates, and bounced messages. Just click on your mailing headline from the mailings list.
What results are satisfactory? Have a look at these benchmarks:
|Average email benchmarks|
for all industries
Take into account that assessing the effectiveness of your PR efforts based on the results of one mailing is practically impossible. Use the insights found in Prowly to optimize your email pitches and plan your PR outreach accordingly.
You can also use data on the performance of your email pitches to enhance your standard PR reports. Here’s a useful template for you to leverage.
14. Follow up
As already mentioned, a single email pitch most likely won’t be enough to get you coverage. It’s important to follow-up, which you can do with Prowly as well.
Once you click on a specific email, you will immediately see its details, including the recipient list, date, and performance statistics. In the upper right corner, you will find the Create follow-up button.
Once you click on it, you will be able to see a list of predefined options to help you choose the recipients of your follow-up based on their engagement with your first email.
Don’t just send a follow-up email to everyone. By checking who opened your previous email or clicked on the links, it should be easier for you to choose the recipients and tailor the message to them—especially since you’re also able to see the exact time of the most recent action.
Depending on how your recipients reacted to the original message, you can write different follow-up emails using more precise language suited to the situation. For example, you can craft one message for those who never saw your first one, another for those who did, and another for anyone who clicked on a link inside it.
All done! Once the follow-up email is sent out, it will appear in the list of emails with the appropriate status. You can preview it, check its performance statistics, and see the recipient list once again.
Monitor media mentions
By looking at who is mentioning your brand and where, you can easily track the effectiveness of your outreach efforts, control online reputation, and adjust media relations strategy accordingly. Prowly’s powerful, yet easy-to-use filters help you precisely narrow down what you’re tracking and spot relevant mentions only. Plus, every mention comes with PR metrics for easier assessment and reporting of your media coverage.
You can also set up custom alerts for any search query to get real-time notifications, and even create reporting dashboards with various metrics, chart types, and other filters to tailor them to what you need to keep an eye on.
Keep in mind that relationships with the media aren’t built overnight. With Prowly, you can not only manage media relations from one place but get better at it in the long run.
Use the available features to save hours on everyday PR tasks, measure your effectiveness, and improve media relations. We’re here for you, every step of the way.
Need more inspiration? See how Prowly users make the most of it.