In this episode, we have Kristin Tynski of Fractl on to talk about how she acquires top tier press (like CNN and the New York Times). She explains the strategies she uses to create data-driven articles, her outreach approach as well as the common mistakes that most people make when approaching this kind of challenge. Let’s dive in.
Chip and Dan – SUCCESS
What Does Fractl Do and how is it different from the average content marketing agency?
Fractl is a content marketing agency but they specialize in a very particular type of content. They mostly create data driven stories that the PR team pitches to journalists.
We connected over a piece of content that she wrote for Moz that looked specifically if there are some top tier publishers that have a disproportionate number of syndications that happen once your post is written.
Do you need a relationship before reaching out to someone from say New York Times or CNN?
- No. It’s more important that you have amazing quality content
- Try to have a data set. Don’t just have a new spin on something or a new opinion
- Some of the top people get more than 50 pitches per day so having a relationship with someone is useful but not necessary
How do you know what kind of content the journalists are looking for and how do you go about the ideation process for a data-driven piece?
- First, understand very well your clients’ business and look at what kind of content they are currently creating that is popular
- Draw from the Fractl knowledge of what has previously been successful
- Just create a lot of ideas
- Think about the SUCCESS acronym from Chip and Dan
An example is Branded in Memory
- Used Amazon Mechanical Turk
- Asked people to draw from memory brands
- Aggregated data and into animations
- Got top tier press
How many publishers do you usually pitch per piece and what does the outreach look like?
- Don’t use template pitches – everyone knows if you used a template – some even call you out on Twitter
- Half of our people are outreach specialists and devote their time to individualized pitches
- Convey to the person you are pitching that you understand who they are and mention the connection that this new piece would have with their audience
How do you understand what the journalist needs?
- Everyone is different and you should treat them all as such
- Read what they have already written and understand their tone and style
- For example, if you have something controversial, don’t pitch it to someone that is known to be conservative.
How long does it take to create a great email pitch?
- Far longer than just ten minutes
- Our internal goal is 10 per day per outreach person
- Takes 20-30 minutes to write a good email pitch including the research process
- This is a process that never will be able to be automated because it requires human touch
- Understand that a lot of journalists love getting pitched if it is content they need
What are some mistakes that people make when setting out to create content that is highly shareable or viral?
- You really can’t create predictably viral content
- Viral content are outliers
- Minor virality should be more of a goal
- Assuming their content is more interesting than it actually is
- Trying to orchestrate it