How To Grow Your Influence By Connecting With Journalists & Editors Through LinkedIn

November 25, 2017

It was 2010 and our founder Alex Pirouz just finished reading an article by Tom Peter called ‘The Brand You’. At the time he had started a new business in the advisory space and standing out was quite tough. He knew an investment in building his personal profile was a must.

So he started looking at different ways on how he could grow his personal brand. One of those ways was through the media. But the problem was he didn’t know where to start. He had zero connections in this space and he’d never been featured in a publication. Not even the local newspaper.

Very new and quite inexperienced Alex did what every other entrepreneur would do, head down the traditional route. He made a list of the top 3 publications he wanted to be featured in and he started calling the main switchboard of those media outlets. Back then you couldn’t get through to journalists or editors directly unless you knew them personally.

On top of the calls he also sent out 60 cold emails with his press release attached. Three months in and no person called him back or replied to his emails. Clearly the strategy wasn’t working or perhaps he was doing it all wrong.

Regardless he knew something had to change, all he needed was someone to open up the doors. After that he was quite confident in his ability to turn those opportunities into media appearances.

A friend of him suggested working with a PR agency. With no other options under his belt, he thought why not it’s worth a try.

Over the course of the next few months our founder held meetings with four different PR Agencies. All of them wanted to charge him an arm and a leg without any guarantees.

Not to mention that he wouldn’t get to keep the contacts he was being introduced to. Paying hefty fees and not being guaranteed media exposure didn’t seem like a great option to him.

Feeling a little dejected he had thoughts about packing it all in, maybe this whole personal branding thing wasn’t for him. Then one night as he was driving home from work he got an email from a friend with the following subject line: 94.2% of journalists and editors are on LinkedIn.

Probably shouldn’t have been reading emails whilst driving but he was sure glad he did. It felt like all his prayers were answered. With new found confidence and a spring in his step, as soon as he arrived home he logged onto LinkedIn. And started connecting with journalists and editors.

Truth be told he didn’t have a clue what he was doing. All he had was a piece of paper with a list of publications he wanted to get featured in and a hunger not to stop until he was successful.

Fast forward to today, Alex has now been featured in 60+ major media publications. He writes for some of the largest publications in the world and has built up a network of over 300 connections in the media industry.

The best part of all this? He did it without sending out a single press release or spending a cent on PR, all done by leveraging the power of LinkedIn.

So how did our founder achieve all this? Well first and foremost he identified the top 3 publications he wanted to get featured in.

For him that list included Forbes, Sydney Morning Herald and Huffington Post. He then made a list of the top 3 publications his target market go to source industry and business information.

From there he visited those publications to find journalists and editors who were writing articles in and around his area of expertise. So for example, when he was looking to connect with journalists in Sydney Morning Herald, he would click on the business tab.

He would then click through on the ‘Small Business’ tab.

From there he would then choose the ‘Entrepreneurship’ tab.

This would then take him to a page where there is a list of articles in that category.

And from this page, all he needed to do is simply scroll through the articles from top to bottom and open up each one in a new tab.

At the top left hand side of the article it lists the name of the person who’s written the article.

He would simply copy that name and paste it into the search field within his LinkedIn account.

From the list of potential contacts under that search, he simply chose the one that is most accurate or closest to the description of the person he is looking for. Once he found that person, he clicked through to their profile.

From there he clicked on the connect button, personalised his message and sent them an invitation to connect. Here’s an example of a script you could use:

Once they connect with Alex he simply continued adding value and getting to know them. He usually started off with a message thanking them for connecting with him. Then he let them know that he is here should they need anything like an introduction etc.

He resisted the temptation and stayed away from tacky sales pitches. Everyone else is doing that and it’s not a way of building a long term relationship.

Once he has sent them that message he started engaging with their posts on LinkedIn. He regularly shared his own content as this will now show up in their newsfeed.

He also touched base with them every so often through an email or LinkedIn message. This is to see how he could potentially add value to them and what they’re currently working on. Most journalists, contributors and editors face 3 main challenges:

1) Sick and tired of press releases
2) They don’t have access to key experts
3) Time poor

So he looked for ways on how he could solve those challenges through the relationship building process. Over time he built a network of contacts in the media who knew and trust him. This in time results in them reaching out to him the next time they need someone to comment or feature in their articles.

So there you have it.. A simple yet effective strategy for getting mass media coverage and building your influence through LinkedIn. We look forward to seeing your article in Forbes, send us a link once it’s up.

Building your personal brand is something that takes time and consistency to achieve results. If you think you’re not going to have the time to stay consistent then you need to either find the time or find someone who can implement on your behalf so you can begin investing in your most important asset – you.

Lead Management Simplified

Say goodbye to spreadsheets, poor performing campaigns and hours of wasted time manually handling your leads on LinkedIn. Jayla will help you develop your overall strategy, manage your opportunities, set automated reminders to follow up prospects you’re in conversation with and track your ROI.

Still early days, but I've done just over

Stephen Brookes

Join The Waiting List

We're celebrating the launch of Jayla by giving our first 500 customers access to our VIC club. As a 'Very Important Customer' you won't just feel special, you'll get notified of the release first and have the price of your subscription fixed for life.

On top of all that you'll get priority support and an invite to an exclusive live masterclass with our founder Alex Pirouz. This is strictly limited to only 500 VIC's available.

We’re celebrating the launch of Jayla by giving our first 500 customers access to our VIC club. As a ‘Very Important Customer’ you get access to Jayla weeks before the public, price of your subscription fixed for life, priority support and an exclusive live masterclass.

Enter Your Details

Fill out your name and email to be in the know.