Want to Stand Out in a Journalist's Crowded Inbox? There's an App for That.
Technology might be your best friend when it comes to standing out in a sea of boring press releases.
No matter how much the world changes or how much we advance, one fact will remain unchanged: Stories sell. And when you tell those stories to large audiences of the right people, it's a recipe for exponential growth. What most small businesses struggle with is building that audience before time, money and energy run out. And that's where "borrowing" an audience by pitching the press becomes such an effective strategy for growth.
For better or worse, technology has shaped our world as it is today. Almost every business has an app or a website because in this day and age, instant isn't fast enough. For journalists, this means they have to keep up with the digital age. Gone are the days when people wait patiently for the newspaper at their door. Now, new information is shared all the time through official publications, blogs, podcasts and even social media. When the content treadmill never stops running, you just have to be faster than everyone else.
1. The article you're reading may not be written by a human being.
It sounds like science fiction, but computer algorithms are paving the way for automated journalism. News writing robots help journalists and publishers collect information, test headlines and create content. To name a few, many news outlets are now using software like Wibbitz, Bandito, News Tracer and BuzzBot.
Before you freak out, this isn't meant to totally replace journalists. Rather, it's there to help them catch the latest scoop, so news is delivered in real time. At the end of the day, crucial decisions still need to be made by a human being.
Depending on how you look at it, this is both an incredible tool and a threat to journalists. So, what does this mean for you? If you can provide a great story-based pitch that helps journalists inform, inspire, empower and entertain their audience, you become a valuable asset.
It's not enough to just give out information. Robots can do that. You need to do something only a human being can do. Be personal. Be authentic. Be real. Even when so many things are automated, the audience remains human.
2. Do you need to boost your social outreach? There's an app for that.
Beyond Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, there are other ways to reach out to people. For example, journalists can now crowdsource responses online without having a face-to-face interview. They simply post questions to apps like Slido, Askers or Qanda and get answers from people.
What does this mean for you? You can use these apps to find journalists seeking expert opinions. Then you can provide a few quick answers to give value, and then follow up by sending them an email.
On the flip side, you can also leverage these apps to find out what people are interested in reading. After all, journalists are targeting an audience. By finding out what people are looking for, you can easily answer why your story is relevant right now, and perhaps help that media pro out by giving them the scoop.
3. Make use of automated video creators to stand out.
While this isn't particularly new or shocking, video is becoming more and more important as it engages auditory, visual and linguistic people. However, creating enough videos is no small feat. In order to meet demand, apps like Wibbitz automatically convert text into high quality videos. Other apps like Wochit and Bigvu also streamline the video creation process making it easier to publish.If you're pitching to the media, consider how your story might look and feel if it were turned into a video rather than an article. Will people be interested to watch it? Would it catch their attention long enough?
There's a fine line here -- journalists will typically prefer to scan text and will only watch video once they've bought into the core premise of the story. But, once they do that, it becomes really interesting to package what might have been bullet points into a video.
With all the advancements in technology, it's important to understand how things are changing for journalists. Doing so enables you to look at your own content in a different light and break the rules effectively so you stand out more.
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