Whether you're aiming for paid or earned media, you need to do your homework to determine whether a partner is the right fit for you and your company. When you choose a media outlet to pitch as part of your marketing efforts, do the research upfront to ensure they are the right fit for your products and services. When you research the publications or even blogs where you might want your portfolio to be featured, you can create a priority list of partners, and weed out those that are not a great fit for your brand.
When you start doing your research, determine who the readers are. If you have a strong, well-defined customer profile for your core customers, you can easily match up your customer profile to the reader profile of the media outlet that you want to target. You'll get the best results if your audiences match up directly. You can find out a bit about the readers from publication or blogger directly, but you will learn more by reading the articles and by social listening. Take a look at the social media profiles for your potential partners. Who is commenting on their FB page? What do they say? Who follows this person or company on Pinterest? Do these customers fit your customer profile? Media can get expensive quickly and if the audience isn't right, the return on investment (ROI) will not be there. It's worth investing time upfront to ensure that your message will be seen by the right audience.
Once you find a few media outlets that seem like a good fit, create a list of the ones that have the greatest overlap with your core customers in order of priority. You might decide to target smaller partners first to test your message. Testing can be very beneficial. Partnering with smaller publications or bloggers is much less expensive, but if they have an engaged audience, the response may be better than you see with a larger publication that has a less engaged audience.
After your list is finalized, begin working through it. Pitch your company, product, or service to your target media with a strong message. Every pitch should have a story, especially if you target large publications. Explain what is so great about your company and offering in a clear way so that the editor or author reading your email can easily find the story.
Finally, once an editor or author decides to write a story about your business, ensure that you provide the information that they need. If an editor requests extra images, provide them. Too many people fall short when it comes time to deliver. If you are approachable and dependable, you will set yourself apart and possibly open up an opportunity for a follow up story in the future.