In this talk, Digital PR Specialist Hana Bednarova shared some expert knowledge on how to write a killer outreach email. She talked about the best ways to get your emails opened, replied to, and gain links — from best practice to compelling subject lines to practical tips on sell in.
Speaker: Hana Bednarova
Job role and company: Digital PR Specialist, Freelance
Twitter profile: @Miss_HanaB
LinkedIn profile: https://www.linkedin.com/in/hbednarova/
Link to the slides:
What was the talk about?
Emails are one of the main ways of getting in touch with the press when it comes to pitching content and assets — and getting ignored in someone’s inbox can lead to a failed campaign, and wasted time and resources. Hana’s talk focused on how to ensure that your outreach emails are opened and your content is used.
Hana started off with simple, practical outreach tips, like how pretty much all journalists prefer to be contacted via email (“It’s bloody difficult to get them on the phone”) and the dangers of autocorrect/getting someone’s name wrong (accompanied by all of the different versions of her name that people have sent to her, including “Hannibal”).
She then went more in-depth about how she crafts successful outreach emails by personalising her emails, avoiding templates, and building mutually beneficial relationships with journalists based on what they want and need.
Hana also stated the importance of proving the value of your creative asset by putting the sector and readers at the centre of your email rather than the topic — this is how you gain links.
On how to build positive, meaningful relationships through research: “I stalk journalists in a very healthy way.”
Potential impact on the industry
Using Hana’s method for writing killer emails, we can create a world of outreach where everyone is happy; you (or your client) are happy because your asset is getting links, the journalist is happy because they’re getting access to valuable stuff that they can use, and readers are happy because they’re getting relevant, interesting content.
Ultimately, Hana’s actionable points (including a step-by-step guide to formatting your outreach email) could result in far more outreach emails being opened, replied to, and gain links.
- Get to the point straight away in your outreach email: tell them what you’re offering in the first paragraph
- Build positive, meaningful relationships with journalists so that you can provide them with content that they want, and that they will be happy to use (take notes on what each journalist likes/doesn’t like)
- Make your emails personal: avoid templates and make your email relevant to the journalist, their publication and the audience (use media kits, YouGov profiles and Facebook insights)
- Always send a follow-up email 2-3 days later — it could simply have been missed (Hana herself has won multiple big links by doing this)