Pitching Across the Pond | PR Tips for Getting Global Coverage

Best Practices, Marketing

I’ve worked with media in other countries, but never specifically was I asked to target global media outlets. So when I was assigned an international PR task, I thought, “how different could this be? We’re all people, working on the worldly news together.”

Looking to gain some #global coverage? @NoelleBellLynne gives you all of the tips you need: Click To Tweet

Turns out, I was mostly right. I came to find all the tech outlets we usually reach out to for events are the same with “.uk” tagged on the edge of the address. While we want to use all the regular PR practices for pitching them the same as any US reporter or editor, there are a few (small) sensitivities that set the two apart.

Take a look at my findings and share with me if you’ve experienced any similarities! (@RedBranch).

A, B, C Spell Check

Of course, always spell check your pitches. It’s easy to overlook small errors when you’ve read it over and over in your head, think you’ve nailed it and excitedly zip it off to maybe never be opened or given a chance. Yes, it’s emotionally draining to remember you’re not being noticed after all the witty phrases you just came up with, but, like a resume, one silly error can send you straight to the can and possible lose your credibility with that person.  

More importantly, if you’re sending press materials to the United Kingdom or Ireland, remember any spelling or vocabulary differences that could confuse your messaging.

To ensure you don’t sound like a nob and a half, use this English to British spell checker.

What’s in the News?

Are there large issues happening in the area you’re pitching? Is there a holiday coming up? Just as current events will affect when and how you respond to work emails here is the same for whoever you’re reaching out to. If there’s a crisis going on, your pitch can wait. Don’t let the impact of your outreach suffer. Wait 2-3 weeks before reaching out and send your regards so they know you’re paying attention to not only their publication, but what’s happening around them.

What’s Trending?

Similarly to being aware of your audience’s political/economic news, what’s happening in their industry? Are they talking about the same things you’re talking about? Are you ahead or behind them as far as trends? Do you have a hot insight from the US that could leverage them? Use this in your analysis as a leg up on how to approach them for the best possible approach. We want to crunch those brows!

Follow-ups, Make Them Count

Is it appropriate to follow-up with a reporter the same day you sent them materials? The call is yours, but don’t shy away from being as persistent with reporters across the pond as you would be in American media relations.

When following up, find a stat or some sort of sharp call to action, giving them a reason to respond to your initial outreach. Note: Make sure that stat or research is relevant to THEM. Different markets vary wildly, especially in the area of recruitment, so a social recruiting stat for North America may mean nothing to a recruiter targeting Malaysia.

Go back to their recent material and provide a spin-off angle and a reason they need your information, how it would benefit them, why they should spend their time on it. If you don’t have a solid reason, don’t follow-up.

Don’t forget about time zones

Your international counterparts need extended deadlines and extra time to respond to pitches (as they may be sleeping while you’re working), so keep that in mind when sending embargoed releases or asking for a “quick quote.”

Mind the Smaller Markets

In the U.S., we have very detailed specialists – Red Branch being a perfect example. We almost exclusively market HR Technology and Services, because we’re darn good at it.

Jay Krall, author with Cision, notes firms in Dublin, like Edelman Dublin, have a much smaller pool of media, noting that very few PR professionals are specialists and cover a broad array of topics. For example, while you might contact one analyst at a firm for Talent Acquisition and another for Talent Management here in the U.S., whereas overseas you might contact the same person for both, especially when dealing with a tool or platform that has both capabilities. Wait a sec! Can’t you just send the same person both carefully crafted pitches? Erm…no, that violates a lot of PR rules and shows you didn’t do your homework.

Quick tip: When reaching out, look through the reporter’s past works over the course of a few months. This will help find your special angle or pitch for that person.

When it comes down to reaching outside of your geographic home-base, don’t panic and totally change the way you do things. Just use common sense politesse and you’ll be fine. Don’t deluge them with redundant pitches, offer stats that are relevant to their audience (not just yours North America) and don’t ping them repeatedly while they’re sleeping! Oh and spell favorite like favourite and remember…pants means something different in England…

Want more tips on marketing, HR, web design and..ah, heck, just go follow the Red Branch team, we’re worth it.

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