10 Ways to Leverage a “PR Hit List” & Drive More Email Subscribers

Creating and executing an effective PR Hit List is all about creating “Win / Win” situations for others in your space. Keep in mind all of the following strategies integrate this philosophy of creating “win / win” proposals, optimizing your chances of securing arrangements even with media sites and interview hosts with followings much larger than your own.

Strategy 1 (of 10): Cold Email

Reaching out to publishers with this template has served content arrangements to many of our clients:

“Hey [name],

I’ve been following your blog for a while and really enjoy it. I’ve published very similar content at [sites you’ve published for], and I can tell we’re both concerned with helping the exact same group of people.

Let’s touch base in the next few weeks, I wouldn’t mind working out an arrangement for publishing an article or two on your site each month. Let’s see if we can work out something to make a win/win for both of us.”

You need to think of this strategy as a “numbers game,” even a bit like a revolving door. If you know that 1 out of 10 emails is going to get a return, and your goal is to get into 10 media sites per month… well then you need to send out roughly 3 cold emails per day (100 emails a month to close 10 of them).

On average, this is about right, but it depends on the caliber and size of the contact person you are reaching out to. The point is, see this as a law of averages, and just bang through them consistently…

Strategy 2 (of 10): Affiliate Selling

The best way to get in touch with a media site or business owner you’d like to work with is to sell their stuff. Sign up to be an affiliate and promote it to your following. If you send a note saying something to the tune of:

“Hey [name] recently we did a promotion of your [product] and my list loved it… it went really well and I’d love to do it again.

I wouldn’t even mind doing something a bit bigger or higher ticket, let’s connect and see what I can do for you here with this.”

You’ll never not hear back from this person if you’ve made them money like this. In fact, I’d recommend this as perhaps the number one way to get in touch with high level, powerful people. You are always better off offering value first.

Strategy 3 (of 10): Leverage Guest Posts for Their Email Promotions

This is one of the strategies I used a lot when I was starting out. I started getting a healthy little list of sites I was publishing to… and from there, whenever I would reach out to someone with a large list or social media following, I’d simply barter a little “push for push” action. If they pushed me to their list, I’d mention them in 5 upcoming articles on guest blogs I was writing for.

If you’ve created a PR Network for whom you create or publish content, you can very easily arrange trades with business owners. By offering to mention or boost their reputation, you can secure access to their list and get them to promote for you.

Strategy 4 (of 10): Promote Their Interview If They’ll Promote You

If you are agree to an interview, say something like, “I’m all game to promote this interview and your site to my following if you’re willing to do the same…” Not only will your audience enjoy it, but you will gain access to the host’s social media networks and entire list of email subscribers as well.

Now this might not seem like a very practical “strategy,” but it’s simply because this strategy builds on the back of another: interviews. Always be asking people to do interviews, it’s the easiest way (by far) to get in the door with pro level people that you want to associate with… and a lot of times if you ask them to promote, they’re going to do that.

Not for “you,” but for themselves. When you interview someone they get to talk about themselves and, naturally, they are more inclined to share… which pulls you into the spotlight as well.

Strategy 5 (of 10): Trade Articles/ Guest Posts for Social Media Promotions

If you frequently publish articles or guest posts, you can offer to boost their PR real estate and clout for a period of social media promotion to their following. For instance, let’s say you regularly publish a piece of content on a site that you know the social media manager would profit from the exposure.

You can reach out and barter a mention to their social following for a mention in your piece of content. It’s a win/win, which is what all of these strategies are really about.

Bare in mind, “guest posting” implies unique, editorial-quality, massively-valuable content. If you read the blog of Google’s own Matt Cutts (his article on guest blogging here), you’ll know that Google’s no stooge when it comes to sniffing out lame content. Write like a pro and contribute work you can be proud of, period.

Strategy 6 (of 10): Trade Social Media Mentions/Promotions

Trade mentions or promotions to other social media leaders.

This is a simple (and easy) way to create a win/win, because it widens your net while simultaneously widening theirs. This will probably only work if your social media following is comparable to theirs in terms of size. However, if you have a very engaged following (and means to prove it), you can really benefit (as can they) from trading mentions.

Strategy 7 (of 11): Trade Interviews In Exchange for Social Mention

A savvy business person will recognize the importance of being interviewed. Besides building clout, interviews act as wideners to your platform by spreading your name around. If you don’t have a large social media following and don’t regularly publish content at a site that would be beneficial for the other person, consider asking to interview them.

Offer to promote the interview and give them a recording to add to their arsenal if they will mention you to their social media following.

Strategy 8 (of 10): Use Interviews to Access Other Larger Media Sites

One of my favorites.

Many times interviews unlock access to otherwise inaccessible (or unresponsive) media site owners or publishers. Send an email with the following:

“Hey [name],

I’m a fan of your work around [topic], and as a writer and journalist I recently interviewed [expert], on of your partners and blog contributors for my podcast about [topic].

I’ve already put up my own article about the interview at: www.example.com, and it’s been rather well received on our company Facebook page and Twitter handle. The focus is really around [expert’s] great [topic] insights, do you think it’s worth sharing on your fan page as well?

I realize your fans would get just as much out of [expert’s] insights as my fans did. Either way, I look forward to hearing back from you.”

If you’re able to get a larger Facebook fanpage to promote your own material, aim to use low-friction ways of directing that traffic towards a lead-capture page if at all possible (this Facebook lead gen article on MarketingLand might be a good place to start for ideas).

Strategy 9 (of 10): Trade Introductions for Email Promotions

If you follow what I’m teaching you to do, before long you will have quite a library of interviews… which means access to successful people. More than likely that will mean email access or, in some cases, Skype or phone access.

It can be very beneficial to offer introductions to other business owners and platform holders in exchange for exposure. For instance, if you know a large blogger would really benefit from an online or digital marketing agency… and you’ve just recently interviewed the marketing agency. You could pose an agreement where you are mentioned on the blog in exchange for an email introduction to the marketing agency. Or vice versa.

This works really well if you are connecting a service provider with a product owner (or vice versa).

Strategy 10 (of 10): Use Your Email List to Trade for Interviews

If you have a sizeable email list, why not send a super short email offer to a big name in your space offering to run a promotion for them in return for a private interview?

Many times, even if you don’t have a megaton-sized email list, people love being interviewed. You can always use this as a last ditch effort to get on the phone with “hard to get” people.

Although I don’t have a “magic bullet” for getting links and featured content on large websites and social media channels, persistency and multiple approaches has seemed to work best for me – and these very strategies have been my bread-and-butter to make my way into sites like TechCrunch, the Boston Business Journal, and many more. Use them wisely (and try more than one), and I’m betting they’ll be useful for you as well.

-Daniel Faggella
CLVboost Founder

Image credit: Clear to Sell

About The Author

Daniel Faggella

I grow businesses with marketing automation, email marketing, and conversion-rate optimization. I've spoken on business and emerging technologies internationally and at some of America's finest schools (Yale, Stanford, Cornell, etc...). My marketing strategies have been featured in the Boston Business Journal, MarketingProfs, Direct Marketing News, and much more. CLVboost is where I share marketing strategies, TechEmergence.com is my major pursuit.