Embedded media is where you publish or broadcast as an author using the reach of an established platform. To the reader, you appear to be contracted by the organization to provide content either regularly as a columnist, or on occasion as a contributor. You could also be a regular commentator on a radio or TV broadcast, or you might be contacted on occasion to comment as an authority on a particular subject. Embedded media can provide tremendous reach (eg: Huffington Post or New York Times) or they can solidify you as an expert if you are featured regularly in an industry publication for your niche.
This post will take you through the steps to get embedded media working for you.
Friends and colleagues understand that I’m pretty passionate about marketing and about writing. I’ve published a couple books, have been a columnist in Business in Vancouver and the Huffington Post for some time, and have had numerous pieces appear in The Globe and Mail, the Toronto Star, Vancouver Sun, Marketing, Strategy, Zoomer, and other niche industry publications. While I’ve had a lot of success with business writing, I have recently been branching out to travel writing – just for fun, and to see if the same tactics can be utilized in a new niche. So far I’ve carved out space in the Globe and Mail, Huff Post and Vancouver Sun. The New York Times is still however on my hit list! If you are looking to leverage EMBEDDED media in your business (or perhaps just use it to gain a following in an area of passion) here are some tips:
1. Start small: Start by contributing to industry newsletters or online blogs and magazines. Get copies and links of published work to show your expertise and to use when pitching larger media later.
2. Select niche area publications with broad reach next: For me initially that was drafting opinion pieces for Strategy and Marketing Magazine and submitting a pitch. Knowing the typical length, the writing style, and having a well crafted angle and draft helps. Once you have published pieces and links, they become leverage for future work.
3. Target a feature column: Once you have built a body of work, you are in a solid position to approach a publication to be featured as a regular columnist. Select the publication for the reach and influence over the readership of your perfect audience. Being a columnist however means producing content under a regular deadline, so be sure that is what you want. Columns allow you to be more closely aligned with the brand where you are featured too. Your reputation as an expert elevates, and you get a lot of content that significantly boosts you in search.
4. Cherry pick home runs: Go after increasingly elevated publications in terms of reputation, readership and reach. Think national and international in scope. This is where publications like the Globe and Mail, New York Times and Huff Post reside. Once you score something here, SEO is amplified, you’ve solidified authority, and you have the ultimate leverage for any future pitches.
5. Feature your work on owned platforms: Of course throughout this process, be sure to feature anything that has been published elsewhere on your website or blog. The back links will help your site SEO, and having the owned platform will have lead you to be publishing even more original material throughout this process. Done strategically over time, you become known in your area of expertise.
And here are a few tips when pitching to contribute content that you might find useful.
1. Good pitches and good writing get noticed: Keeping the pitch tight and answering (Why this topic? Why is it relevant right now? Why are you the person to write it?) got attention. Link HERE for a past blog post “Your killer media pitch” to learn more. If you are going to include a draft article, put it in the body of the email rather then as an attachment. Editors are afraid to open an attachment from an unknown person. Increasingly media like the Globe and Huff Post are setting up contributor’s pages and accounts for fielding pitches and getting assignments. While editors are still reading email pitches, many are starting to shift to this system as a way to manage content. Scoring an invitation to do this and be accepted into a contributor group for your topic area will hinge on having some published content to show already.
2. With persistence you can get unpublished emails and contacts: Some publications feature emails for editors on their websites, but many keep the info unpublished as a way to limit unwanted emails. Do some research online to find the exact name of the person you want to pitch, then having the full name along with the email naming convention used by the @publication.com found on their website, you can quickly narrow down emails that might work. I then typically email using the first name, with initial, without, dashes and underscores and any other combination I can think of. I monitor the bounces that can’t be delivered, and narrow it down to one that had gone through. That is the one that I then use for follow up.
3. Always follow up: Often first emails don’t get a response, but don’t be discouraged. But follow ups, arrive at the top of the pile, and often will get an immediate response. Always thank and engage even if you don’t get the article. Rapport goes a long way for future pitches.
4. Know a win from rejection: Chances are once you have a reply, you not only have the email correct, but you also have a cell number too. File that away for any timely breaking pitch you might do in the future. If it’s newsworthy that cell and text option will be golden. Occasionally you might fire off something that they will find useful by sharing content that positions you as a source of knowledge, and not always pitching them. The rapport building will serve you well next time you do put out a pitch.
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