How a Media Database Can Help You Pitch “Sea Unicorns”

How a Media Database Can Help You Pitch “Sea Unicorns”

16 August 2013
How would you use a media database to find journalists for a narwhal pitch?

Unless you’re lucky enough to have journalists flooding your inbox with requests regularly, effective PR targeting can range from time-consuming to overwhelming. Media database software softens the blow, but shrinking media budgets have led to increasing numbers of freelancers and unreliable beats, rendering most software platforms less effective. That’s the bad news. The good news is that, to stay in stride with the ever-evolving media landscape, your goals and strategies don’t need to change. All you need to do is adjust your tactics.

A New Media Database for a New Media Landscape

PR strategies built around timely pitches and strong relationships always lead to more successful PR campaigns; industries change and budgets change, but people don’t. Journalists and readers will always prefer topics relevant to them right now over yesterday’s news. Tried-and-true tactics alone, such as media database beat searches, are less effective when you’re pitching a breaking news story, looking for new journalists or working within a new or niche industry. For these instances, the Meltwater News public relations suite has the industry’s only keyword search that targets journalists based on the topic of their most recent articles. Type in the exact topic of your pitch, select a time period (e.g. articles published in the last six months, three months, one month or two weeks), and the media database will return a list of journalists. These journalists will be sorted by relevance and all of them will have written about your topic recently.

Media Databases Don’t Have a “Sea Unicorn” Beat

Companies and organizations that serve niche industries have a particularly hard time targeting journalists; imagine the struggle using a traditional media database to identify reporters for a “sea unicorn” pitch (narwhals are my favorite animal!) or a brake pad manufacturing pitch. A keyword search can bring more precise targeting to any PR campaign and is especially useful in instances when the right journalist is hard to find. A real example of this happened recently when a Meltwater client, a PR agency, used the keyword search to successfully target journalists in the wake of a terrorist attack, garnering their client significant national attention.

In the hours after a tragic domestic bombing, a technology company gave their facial recognition software to local police to help identify the attackers. The company’s PR agency used the Meltwater News media database to target journalists. The challenge the PR agency faced was cutting through the noise surrounding the breaking news story to identify technology-focused journalists who matched their needs. They used the following keywords to search the media database:

“bombing” AND “technology”
“bombing” AND “traffic camera”
“bombing” AND “suspect” AND “identify”

The agency successfully identified a list of 20 journalists who had recently written about the intersection of the attack and technology. The thoughtful action of their client became national news with both print publications and several television news affiliates sharing the heartwarming story while significantly increasing their client’s brand recognition. With the keyword search (a new tactic), the agency was able to use the momentum of the breaking news story to execute a successful campaign for their client.

To succeed in the new media landscape, complement proven PR strategies with new tactics and new technology. The media database keyword search facilitates better coverage by quickly finding the most relevant journalists, allowing you to spend more time crafting clever pitches and strengthening media relationships. The moral of the story: it doesn’t have to be a struggle to find journalists interested in sea unicorns!