Create a drumbeat PR SEO strategy

Business benefits

Create a steady stream of exposure and links to your site and improve your website ranking.

Create a calendar of key dates relevant to your business niche and audience.

In addition to well-known national holidays, these might be more obscure dates, like National Burger Day or Talk Like a Pirate Day. Each key date is an opportunity for unique content pitched to the media. For example, changing your website into pirate speak for a day may match well with your brand personality and be received well by the press.

Put together a content schedule based on the key dates calendar.

Create content for each of your key dates, then look for gaps in your content plan.

Research forward features offered by publications that you’re interested in getting articles into, or search by keyword. Add submission deadlines and publishing deadlines into your content schedule.

Forward features provide insight into what type of content publications are interested in and when they would like to have it. Unlike news, which captures specific moments in time, features allow you to lean into a subject with more in-depth insights. Research relevant publications’ editorial calendars to find potential topics they want to cover, submission deadlines, and publishing dates that you can orient your drumbeat PR SEO strategy around.

Use PR tools like Cision and Roxhill to build a comprehensive list of keywords that will capture features on the topics most relevant to your brand. Other opportunities for forward features include media or advertising information on the publisher’s website, in-site search, and direct contact with the publisher’s advertising or PR contact.

Look for themes in the key dates and forward features. Develop a base pitch for each theme.

Consider elements like:

  • Benefit-driven headline that drives home the why of the content.
  • Personal introduction from the person making the pitch.
  • Quick introduction to the company on whose behalf the pitch is made.
  • Overview of the content, page, or effort you are pitching.
  • Value proposition that digs deeper into the why of the content-publication fit.
  • Personal sign-off, asking to reach out to the pitcher for questions or more information.
  • Links to other website and PR SEO assets, like the About Us page, leadership bios, or press center.

Tailor your base pitch for each publication you contact.

Ask yourself why the piece of content, data, or effort would be relevant and valuable for each publication’s audience, then tailor the pitch around the answer. For email pitching, include one or two images in the body of the email to elevate your pitch.

Research awards that are relevant to your company and industry, and add submission deadlines and award ceremonies to your key dates calendar.

Award wins and shortlistings attract coverage, raise brand awareness, raise industry credibility and consumer trust, and add signals of value when pitching the brand to journalists and editors. In your award book, include information like submission deadline, previous winners, social media presence, and total followers to evaluate each opportunity for your brand.

Enter awards that match the company’s strengths and provide a realistic chance of winning.

Read the awards criteria and questions carefully, then answer the questions succinctly. Include a straightforward summary of your business along with visuals to support your entry. Double-check spelling and grammar to build credibility in the submission.

Promote any award wins on your website, social media, email, display ads, local business listings, and via a press release to industry trade press. Once you win, add the term award-winning to business descriptions for any PR pitches and materials.

Write and pitch thought leadership content based on company leadership expertise and experience.

Create a pitch matrix with each potential topic and three or four bullet points supporting each topic, along with publications for which those topics might be relevant.

Create email byline pitches using the supporting information from your pitch matrix, suggesting three or four potential titles that match the subject matter.

Providing multiple titles and topic options increases the likelihood of a positive response. You can then pitch the topics and titles that the publication didn’t choose to others in the same industry.

Byline pitches generate links to the website profiles and bios of the author, as well as any references and resources the article references on your website. While a byline strategy can’t easily scale up, thought leadership articles tend to be syndicated to other publications, multiplying brand value and exposure.

Look for media requests for expert interviews, quotes, and answers on Twitter, HARO, and Response Source. Respond as quickly as possible with the information they need or a timeline for getting it.

Whenever a request comes in, you want to be one of the first people to respond. Even if you don’t have the exact thing that they need at that point in time, tell them how long it’s going to take you to get it.

For example, a request comes in to interview a cybersecurity expert. You might respond immediately with, Hi, I saw your media requests for a cybersecurity expert. I have X person [bio link] from X company [About Us link]. They will be able to respond to you in the next 3hours; I’m just going to get exactly what you need.

Log and track all pitches, articles, and responses you’ve submitted to journalists and editors. Create a spreadsheet of all contacts, including any text you sent.

Use a tool like Copyscape to periodically search for the exact text you sent out, for articles and responses, so that you can see when they’re published. Don’t rely on the journalist or editor to update you.