How to reach the international media? Recommendations from PR CommuniTy experts

IT Cluster IT Cluster

On June 29, the PR CommuniTy event was held, the topic of the meeting was «Cooperation with international media».

In a roundtable format, professionals with many years of experience and cases of work with Der Spiegel, Insiger and other international publications joined forces to find answers to the key questions of the meeting:

📌 How to engage international journalists?
📌 What do you need to know about pitching?
📌 What are the nuances of working with international media?

Speakers of the event:

⭐️ Alina Sinkova, PR&Comms Lead at MobiDev, who has more than 13 years of experience in IT service companies.
⭐️ Maria Plyushko, Head of Marketing at Aimprosoft, with 6+ years of experience.
⭐️ Yulia Zaplavska, Copywriter, PR&Comms Manager at Aimprosoft. 7 years in Aimprosoft, the speaker started her career as a copywriter, but for more than a year now, Yulia has been supporting the PR direction.
⭐️ Mariam Ghazaryan, PR Specialist at CHI Software, 3 years in marketing, and the speaker has experience in journalism.
⭐️ Maria Karpaieva, Sales/Marketing Support Manager at CHI Software. The speaker has cases of participation in international conferences and experience in international PR.

«PR is a very valuable tool, but it is slightly underestimated in Ukrainian IT. PR is a necessary activity for any business,» says Maria Plyushko, Head of Marketing at Aimprosoft.

📌 How to engage international journalists?

Each speaker has their own unique experience of working with foreign media and journalists, which they shared at the meeting.

Colleagues from CHI Software Mariam Ghazaryan and Maria Karpayeva spoke about their work on Prowly.

Prowly is a resource that provides a full range of services for PR professionals (CRM, search for new contacts, preparation of pitches, news stories). The service has a free version for 7 days, so anyone can sign up and try how the platform works.

CHI Software has received 3 publications in international media thanks to communication on Prowly:

🔹 Startup Magazine;
🔹 ZedNet;
🔹 Solution Suggest.

Maria Karpaieva, Sales/Marketing Support Manager at CHI Software, says that she and her team tested a mass mailing on the platform.

«Sometimes they even wrote with mistakes on purpose to attract people’s attention. I have to admit that sometimes it worked,» Maria Karpaieva quoted.

Conclusion after working on Prowly from colleagues from СHI Software:

📌 it’s hard to work with countries: Switzerland, Austria, Germany, because they do not want to publish material in English, but only in German;
📌 a history of personal communication with journalists works better.

In her turn, Maria Plyushko, Head of Marketing at Aimprosoft, shared her experience of working with HARO.

HARO (Help a Reporter Out) is a service that connects journalists and information sources, it is used for surveys, collecting expert opinions, etc.

How it works: you subscribe to the mailing list and receive letters with requests from journalists. The topics can be diverse: EDU, IT, technology, business, politics, etc. Each request has a specific time, topic, and criteria. You have to prepare a response and send it to the journalist within the specified time frame.

The HARO service is free, but there are paid plans that make it easier to sort topics by keywords.

Maria Plyushko comments on working with the service:

«If your company has a complicated bureaucratic process when it comes to submitting material, you should think about whether to start working with HARO. Those who produce fast and high-quality materials have a better chance of getting published.»

Mariam Ghazaryan summarized that interaction with Ukrainian and foreign journalists is very different. In Ukraine, the pace of life is faster than in Europe:

«One letter, then a reminder… If there is no response, we move on and look for a new journalist.»

📌 What do you need to know about pitching?

The roundtable participants noted several key points during the pitch. For example, Alina Sin’kova, the moderator of the meeting, drew attention to the following:

«If you offer news as exclusive, only one media outlet can publish it, otherwise it can threaten your reputation.»

pitch_formats-414x233 How to reach the international media? Recommendations from PR CommuniTy experts

A personalized approach to each journalist increases the chances of getting a publication. To «hook» the person you want, you need to monitor their activity on social media, such as LinkedIn, and find out what the journalist reposts, what they comment on, and how they comment. Analyze the information received and start communicating based on the data collected.

📌 What are the nuances of working with international media?

western_journalist-414x233 How to reach the international media? Recommendations from PR CommuniTy experts

Alina Sinkova also shared her own observation that in the United States, it is easy to invite local authorities and journalists to the opening of a foreign company’s office.

How to communicate with journalists?

🔹 Whenever possible, we meet at business, niche, and networking events (always check the list of media and journalists before the event). Nowadays, some people practice meeting over online coffee.
🔹 Make a pitch and subscribe to journalists’ social networks (Twitter, LinkedIn).
🔹 Maintain personal contact with journalists. Don’t «stalk» them, but congratulate them from time to time, give feedback on their materials, etc.
🔹 Gifts are a bad idea. In England and the United States, journalists may take such a gesture badly. It is better to give something small, symbolic and humorous.
🔹 Use CRM. Keep a record of your touches with journalists.

However, all the participants of the roundtable noted that a live conversation or video call is 100% better and more effective than chatting or regular emails.

journalist_dont_like-414x233 How to reach the international media? Recommendations from PR CommuniTy experts

📌 Conclusions

The main mission of the meeting was to find practical solutions to increase the brand volume of each Kharkiv IT Cluster company and Ukrainian IT in general.

Colleagues from Aimprosoft said that at the beginning of the full-scale invasion, people abroad did not understand how we, Ukrainians, live in Ukraine, how business works, how customers do not fall away, and why we have the Internet at all.

«We need to dispel the myths that the Ukrainian economy and business are dead!»

At the end of the meeting, Olga Shapoval, Executive Director of Kharkiv IT Cluster, announced the creation of a new community:

«We are planning to launch self-governance for the most active PR professionals and create a PR Committee to generate cool ideas, create joint projects and solutions.»

Alina Sin’kova noted that thanks to Kharkiv IT Cluster, some doors will be much easier to open, and Yulia Zaplavska added that during the pitch with media representatives, it was popular for journalists to ask questions:

«Do you have anyone else who could comment on this issue or industry?»

Special thanks to Kharkiv IT Cluster’s info partners for supporting and promoting the event:

🤝 Odessa IT Family
🤝 Happy Monday
🤝 WiT Ukraine

logos-414x233 How to reach the international media? Recommendations from PR CommuniTy experts

That’s why Kharkiv IT Cluster invites everyone to join a powerful community that continues to gain momentum. Join us to make your company and Ukrainian IT known to the whole world!

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