Listen on Apple Podcasts

JS: What was one unconventional growth tactic that works surprisingly well?

Dmitry Dragilev: Well, I’d say fishing journalists and getting featured in the press on your own. This tactic surprisingly worked so well and you don’t need to have any PR firms or anybody else. 

JS: Gotcha. So what exactly should folks do if they want to actually engage in the strategy? What are the steps that you would recommend that they follow to actually get that done?

Dmitry Dragilev: So I would do two things. If you don’t have a story that you want to pitch, I would go and subscribe to help a reporter out or another free newsletter as well as go to Twitter and type in journal requests or hash PR requests. So, whether you’re at helpareporter.net or helpareporter.com or PR requests or journal request hashtag, what you will get is a bunch of journalists submitting inquiries and questions about a very specific thing that they need.

So for example, I need an entrepreneur to interview for my podcast. There are tons of these newsletters out there too. There’s radio guest list and spotaguest and all these other platforms out there. So whether you’re on Twitter, looking for the stuff, or whether you’re on a specific newsletter, we index that stuff on our platform, but you can subscribe for these things for free to find people who need someone to interview for a podcast. Maybe there’s a journalist on New York Times who needs somebody in New York City who is starting a startup or somebody who’s running a restaurant.

You know, you type in your keywords. You will find the people that are journalists, podcasters, bloggers, who are looking for someone to speak with and just connect with them and answer their questions. And that’s all you gotta do. It’s not that tough.

JS: Awesome. Are there any kind of roadblocks or difficulties that you run into or that you would give people a heads up around that they might run into when deploying the strategy?

Dmitry Dragilev: Absolutely , anything that is worthwhile in terms of getting a press mention, a feature, and anything that you’re going to be impressed with as an outcome is going to be hard for you. It’s going to have roadblocks and it’s not going to be one shot and done type of a deal. What I’m saying, what I was mentioning earlier is this is one of the lowest hanging fruits for you. Now, roadblocks are going to be your legitimacy and how relevant you are to that person’s query, that person’s ask.

As well as how fast you are in terms of responding to them. Chances are the person that submitted something a day ago has gotten maybe five responses already, right? Say I’m a reporter. I’m at Forbes. And I’m looking for a restaurant in New York City to talk to me about their business. Now I have submitted this 24 hours ago. This is usually submitted to a Hairo (help a reporter out), or it’s submitted to ProfNet or submitted on Twitter, hashtag PR requests, hashtag journal request, or some other source.

Now, all the people that have seen it in the last 24 hours, I’m sure some of them started responding. So now 24 hours later, you are priority number six, because they already have five submissions from that time onwards. So you want to be on top of it. You want to be looking at these constantly. You want to respond to them fast and to the point. And at the same time, you want to make sure that you’re the best sort of qualified customer for them, because they’re looking for an expert to quote in their writings, or maybe an expert to interview.

So you want to make sure that you deliver the goods and that you’ll have a sample legitimacy on your profile. So you can say, Hey, I’ve been published here. I’d done an interview there. And as you’re starting out, that’s a tough thing to do, right? And this is where you gotta go lower tier first, people that are not requiring that as much. And then you build up your profile and then you kind of move up market, with going after Forbes of the world. Yeah, it’s certainly a challenge to get featured out there.

So during this is not one shot and dont type of thing, but it certainly is easier than pitching journalists specific stories cold.

JS: Gotcha. And what are some of the sources out there that folks can, who are looking to deploy the strategy, start to kind of look through to find these types of requests?

Dmitry Dragilev: So I’m going to mention a few of these. So if you’re listening, just jot these down really quick, and then you can go and look through other ones. So help a reporter out is a very famous one. A lot of people know what it is. It’s a newsletter subscribe. It’s free. ProfNet is a paid one that costs thousands of dollars a year. Sometimes, it depends, but take a look at their pricing. It’s a much more vetted list, a little bit more exclusive ProfNet.

There is journal requests. So like journalists, but journal requests. This is a hashtag on Twitter. And it’s also a, a newsletter that comes out absolutely free. Again, really good quality. There’s a platform called Qwoted, but it’s with a ‘w’. So if you’re listening to this, not whether you quote, but  Qwoted, there’s a company I run out of New York city actually and it’s fantastic Twitter stream.

So on Twitter, you’ll see the actual publications and the reporters you’ll see daily, everything that’s going on, but if you sign up for their service, there’s a free version of it. But the paid version you’ll get through faster as a source, as an expert. And you’ll get the ability to build relationships with journalists. Those are some of them, there’s a ton of them. For example, if you’re looking for a podcast interview, there’s one called radio guest list, which is a decent one.

There are so many out there. We index all of them with JustReachOut, that’s our platform that kind of indexes all of them, but there are a handful of them out there. Those are just some examples.

JS: Awesome. And let’s say you’re getting featured, what are some of the strategies now? Like what do you do now to sort of optimize that content for growth after the fact? So you got in contact with one of these journalists, they ended up mentioning you, what are some of those tactics now that you can use to leverage the fact that it worked?

Dmitry Dragilev: Absolutely. So when you first asked me the question, I said, I would do one of two things. First is go after people who are asking questions, people, podcasters, journalists, and so forth. So the second thing I would do is actually go after journalists themselves, but find journalists who are talking about something that you know about, but they’re not mentioning something that you know about. Right? So as an example, there’s a relevance gap, the idea of being, Hey, you’re an expert in, and I’m going to use a very boring example because I have a customer in this space.

I like to use very boring examples in terms of PR, because if they work, sexier examples will work for sure. So they’re in solar panel installation and they’re experts in installing solar panels. Now they know this one thing about solar panel installation, the way to install them so that squirrels don’t go underneath them and chew the wires up. The major companies out there that do this. They kind of omit this and they forget about this.

And anybody who’s writing about installation of solar panels is forgetting the fact that squirrels are gonna eat up those wires and disconnect them and it’s going to cost you thousands of dollars. And so what they’re doing is, they’re going after every journalist who is writing about installation of solar panels, and they’re mentioning this one little fact, they said, Hey, by the way, we have this study on how squirrels impact all of solar panels across the country. And we know a way to kind of counteract this problem, and this is what you need to do.

And so, because they have a study around this and because they have a weight specific thing that they know how to fix, a lot of people are responding to this because they covered solar panels. They covered solar panels and benefits and installation, but they didn’t cover this one little tiny bit. That sounds very interesting. And so your job when you’re starting to pitch is to think of what that one little bit is. It’s tough. I know, but this is where your job will be as a person pitching journalists.

And so as you’re starting to get mentions and you’re getting these people saying, all right, I love your answer. I’m going to feature you here. I’m going to put a mention here and there. You need to move into a better story idea in terms of outgoing pitch. What’s the thing that you’re going to be actually known for, remembered for. And that’s where you’re going to look for that relevance gap between what’s being covered in your industry and what it is that you know a lot about. That’s not being mentioned.

JS: Awesome. This is totally awesome. Dmitry, thank you so much for your time, if folks want to learn more about you or the content that you share, or your company, what are some good URLs or social handles to reach you?

Dmitry Dragilev: Yeah. So just go to justreachout.io and you’ll be able to find pretty much all the information. There’s a blog. There’s an about page, there’s a contact. And then I have my personal blog called criminallyprolific.com. So prolific that it’s criminal. That’s why it’s called criminallyprolific.com. And I share basically all the PR and SEO material that I talk about publicly on there.

JS: Well, thanks again and have a great day.

Dmitry Dragilev: Awesome. Thanks for having me.

AO: That’s it. Another great episode of The One Growth Show , the official podcast of growth marketing conference to learn more about upcoming events, visit www.growthmarketingconf.com and subscribe to the newsletter. If you enjoy this episode, let us know. We’d really appreciate it if you’d give us a five star rating, super easy, just click the last star on iTunes, and also share this episode on social media. After all you want your network to know you’re the person they can always turn to for the best growth and marketing content, don’t you?

Transcribed by:

Podscribe logo