Climb out of the PR mosh pit

You’re probably like most PR pros, slugging it out with hundreds of other people every week to get noticed in your target journalists’ email inboxes.

But some pros use advanced but easy techniques to stand out. The PR pro I’ll tell you about in this message got this incredible reply from a busy editor she’d been building a relationship with:

The approach we’re discussing today is called the “least-crowded inbox” strategy.

Here’s how it works: Step back and scope out a different channel, one where there is less competition. Not every time, but enough to stand out so the journalist starts opening your emails later.

Here are some examples:

  • A handwritten note referencing a recent piece and offering some additional value
  • Posting a comment, not on the journalist’s primary article, but on his/her post on a less-trafficked blog or video channel
  • Believe it or not, the phone is now a less-crowded channel, esp. on Friday afternoons

Here’s a real-world example of how this approach can work for you, right now, courtesy of Jessica Goble.

She’s the PR rep for a nationwide addiction recovery center, and she’s a member of my Inner Circle group coaching program.

Jessica assembled the nine journalists she most wanted to place her experts with. Then she bought pretty postcards from her home state of Arizona, and penned a quick note introducing herself and the type of experts she can provide. She mailed them off and then sent an email to each journalist a few days later.

The “least-crowded inbox” strategy worked – several of them thanked Jessica for the postcards, and one of them ended up quoting her source in an LA Times story.

And yes, this happened during the COVID shutdown when journalists were working at home, so the mail must have gotten forwarded to them.

This “least-crowded inbox” strategy is a simple thing that 99% of your competition (except Jessica!) will never do.

People want to believe that success is made up of silver bullets or “big breaks.” It's not. It is made up of doing simple things 99% of people won't do.

Jessica used this and other pitching strategies to earn bonuses in both the first and second quarters, during a pandemic! Her improved results led to her promotion to Director of PR.

I wish you the same success as you apply what you’re learning.

This article was originally published on July 8, 2020

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