Pitching Contributed Content? Read This First!

Not to toot my own horn, but I consider myself the queen of pitching contributed articles. In my opinion, this is the future of PR. Think about it. Online outlets need new content at all times, so they are always looking for experts to share their thoughts and ideas.

Think about it. Online outlets need new content at all times, so they are always looking for experts to share their thoughts and ideas.

We all hope that we can just get our clients interviewed or their products photographed for publications. However, that isn’t always the reality, so we have to get creative. No matter what industry your client is in, you can always come up with ideas that help brand your clients as thought leaderss. You might think this is tough in the fashion industry where you want your clients’ clothes, accessories or products to be front and center. However, building up the personal brand recognition of a company CEO or up-and-coming in-house social media expert is an additional way that you can elevate brand awareness.

Here are some things to think about when pitching contributed content:

Don’t expect a ton of editing

When you write a full article for a publication, you have more control over what gets out there. If your client is just being interviewed, bits and pieces of what they say can be used at the mercy of the writer. Sometimes this isn’t always a good thing.

Yes, the editor might change a few things, but for the most part you get to shape the content. This also means paying special attention to grammar and punctuation, as busy digital editors might simply do a cursory overview and then copy paste.

Think editorial, not advertorial

Unfortunately, when writing contributed content, your client can’t write about how good their products or services are. Instead, pick topics that your client can teach the audience about.

Good places to look for ideas are: company culture, leadership style, business inspiration, industry trends etc. Holidays and seasons are also always easy ways to hit on timely topics.

Collaborate with clients on topics

In order to make your article ideas more authentic, you should get your client involved in brainstorming. After all they are the experts in their industries, not you. It doesn’t show weakness to ask for specifics and ensures your articles will have more substance. Ask your client to send you over bullet points of key ideas and then turn those notes into a quick tips article.

In order to make your article ideas more authentic, you should get your client involved in brainstorming. After all they are the experts in their industries, not you. It doesn’t show weakness to ask for specifics.

Regularly connect with clients to brainstorm article topics that can be connected to industry trends, seasonality or emerging trends.

Photo Credit: AnnieAnniePancake

About This Author

Rebekah Epstein is the founder of fifteen media, an agency that works exclusively with PR firms to streamline media relations in a digital era. She specializes in business, lifestyle, fashion and beauty. Rebekah also blogs about all things Gen Y at NeonNotebook.com.