10 Minute Read

Honestly, Keeping Track of Placed Content Sucks. Here’s How to Fix It

By Cassie Jahn:

Admit it, you’ve lost track of where that placed piece of content for that client who’s not great at approving content in a timely manner. But, like same. Keeping track of content going to outlets is hard! If you’re me, you’ll try and place your content at the end of each campaign so you have some sort of schedule but something always gets in the way. Whether it be client approval or outlets never emailing back, things get lost.

LUCKILY! There are tools out there to help us get our stuff together and keep track of (arguably) some of the most important pieces of content.

Check ‘em out.

Hey! Keeping track of placed #content is hard! @RBM_Cassie has a way to make it easier. Check it out! Click To Tweet

What You’re Probably Doing

At Red Branch (and probably other agencies, but we’re cooler), we have monthly campaigns for each client. Clients that invest in public relations get one placed article a month. This placed article gets sent out to an outlet or two until someone picks it up and runs with it.

Most times (but definitely not every time) the articles we send out gets picked up pretty quickly. But, that’s mostly because we know who’s going to pick it up and stay with who we’re comfortable with. However, no one ever succeeded by staying in their comfort zone. So, we’ll often shoot for bigger and better outlets. This leads to sticky situations.

If you’re reading this, you probably do something similar to the following situation:

“Oh great! This article is approved by the client, I’ll get it ready to go to Forbes.” Writes the literal best email to the contact at Forbes and waits patiently for a reply

A month passes…

“Shoot! I never heard back from Forbes. I better send this to the outlet that usually accepts things.” Sends mediocre email to befriended contact because they’re chill. Gets OOO email back. Forgets about article again.

“I better bubble up that email for Mr. Smith again, I’m pretty sure he’s back from vacation.” Bubbles email and gets placement about two months after the article was approved.

Now, I’m not saying this happens every time I got to place content… but with so many other moving parts going on in the office on any given day, placed content can be easily forgotten and pushed to the backburner. There are so many different ways to go about this that most people don’t even think about and that could be saving you a butt-ton of time.

What You Could Be Doing

Processes. You could set some up so you remember what’s going on with each piece of content. Where it’s at, who it’s for, the pitch you sent with it, etc. This would make your life a little easier in terms of being able to check what’s going on easily. You might also think about setting up email reminders to tell you when a contact is back from vacation or when to bubble something up for a bigger, harder to reach outlet.

Project management tools like Bitrix24, Asana and CoSchedule are also great tools to help you keep track of content. You could set up project boards and move and check the little boxes for each step of the placement process.

If you haven’t caught on to the trend in this section yet… here ya go. These processes aren’t the best. Setting up project boards or email reminders take care of some of the problems, but those aren’t the only reasons you’re forgetting or losing track of content. Even with this processes in place, you still have to remember to move the project to the right step on the project board, come up with an email pitch to send to outlets and keep track of where you’ve placed articles in the past.

There’s a better way to do it!

The way you’re keeping track of your placed #content pieces is probably wrong and you should 110% read this article by @RedBranch to see how you can fix it right now. Click To Tweet

What You Should Be Doing

You’ve made it this far. And you’re probably thinkings “Alright, so you’ve pointed out my flaws and shot down my idea to make it better. Tell me the secrets.” And I will! Right after I elaborate on the hard parts of content placement:

  • Finding the Outlet: Finding the best place to pitch your clients article if the first step in getting something placed. Like stated earlier, most PR people have the outlets they’re the most comfortable with. But, after a while, clients get tired of seeing the same results for a smaller, overused outlet. So, what big outlet are you going to aim for? Forbes? New York Times? SourceCon? These are the outlets your clients are going to want but how are you going to reel them in?
  • Creating the pitch: For many public relations professional, getting the perfect pitch is the one thing they struggle with, after figuring out who to pitch to of course. Having the perfect pitch can either make or break your ability to get an article placed. Too long and the outlet won’t read the email, too short and they won’t know what the article is about. Finding the sweet spot can be hard.
  • Keeping Track of the Things: The most obvious problem and what this whole article is about: Keeping track of where things are. Not to beat a dead horse,  but it’s hard and it sucks. Even if you’re the most organized person, it’s hard to keep track of something that sometimes the clients doesn’t even seem interested in.

Alrightyroo! The easiest and fastest solution to all of your problems is to find a tool that does all of this for you. But, does it exist? Yes, yes it does. Press Demand is fairly new to the public relations world, but it takes care of all of the problems you might be facing when battling the placed content battles.

Press Demand helps you form a pitch, find an outlet and keep track of what’s going on with the content all in one place. Once you create your pitch (the perfect pitch) you can link to all of the things that are important to your client’s article like company site, sources, personal sites or whatever else your heart desires. After this, your pitch goes to a moderator who will tell you if your pitch is going to catch anyone’s attention. They will send you back edits, you make the edits, send it to the outlet and wait to see what happens.

Now, the waiting process doesn’t mean you have to follow up with the outlet, Press Demand does that for you. They’ll tell you when it’s approved or if it gets rejected. It’s literally that easy.

If you’re not using this already, you should seriously consider it (@marenhogan, I’m talking to you, RBM needs this). It’s the easiest, most efficient way to keep track of placed content. Not to mention, you and your clients will probably see huge improvements and rise above competitors on where and how fast your articles are getting picked up.

Thank you, next.