journalists

4 Ways Marketers Can Learn From a Journalist’s Approach to Content Planning

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“Be the media” isn’t just a buzz phrase. It’s a live process and philosophy that brings in leads and moves products and services. It’s the concept of content as sales staff. It’s “write it and they will come.” OK, so I got ahead of myself with that last one. It’s not quite that simple.

As marketers have moved to content to help tell their stories that draw in customers, they have brought journalists in to help with the storytelling.  Now that many marketers and journalists are working side by side, they have developed similar processes and have begun to merge cultures. They are finding common ground, overlapping and crossing career paths.

Here are a few areas in which I think that content marketers can learn from journalists:

Digital PR Pitching Etiquette: 3 Critical Rules for Online Public Relations Outreach

Online PR rules for more effective link building, guest blog pitching and moreOver the course of my online marketing career, I’ve had the opportunity to participate on both sides of the online PR outreach process, pitching publications on behalf of clients as well as receiving them as a search and social industry journalist. In the course of performing outreach for clients and receiving hundreds of pitches from other PR professionals and in-house marketers, a few important rules became crystal clear.

Companies use online PR in a number of different ways, depending on the desired outcome. You might pitch mainstream media to offer a company executive up as an expert source on a breaking news story, in order to build your company’s credibility. Where the goal is to earn links back to your website, you may offer guest posts or interviews to industry bloggers or digital magazines. Your focus might be increased exposure in your target market, in order to increase sales of a certain product or service.

How Journalists Use Search & Social Media

TopRank ran a survey of journalists, reporters and editors on their use of search and social media in 2008. We found 91% use search engines like Google to do their job. 64% use social networks.  Published in Jan 2010, a George Washington University and Cision survey of journalists reports 89% use blogs and 65% use social networks to research stories.

As prep for a presentation I’m giving Thursday at Online Marketing Summit on the intersection of SEO, Social Media and PR, I reached out to a few local journalists and industry news contacts and asked for examples of how they used search engines or social media to do story research.