Finding the right person to contact can be tricky and can be time consuming too but it is an essential part of so many job roles from recruitment to sales and marketing. If you’ve got a high authority publication you want to get in touch with, someone you want to be in touch with to promote an event or find a new business opportunity it’s definitely worth spending a little time finding the right person. Not only is it
I’m often searching around trying to find the right person to contact as part of an outreach campaign. Sometimes it can feel like just another time consuming exercise but you have to do justice to the work you’ve done finding the right organisation or website. I’m going to go with my experience here, which will usually involve finding the right person for editorial opportunities but this can easily be related to any other need for finding the right person to contact at a business. You could try some of the following ideas to help you identify the right person:
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Obvious place to start – you might only have an [email protected] or you might be given a huge long list of 50 different people. As a general rule:
· Editors are always going to be busy and don’t go for the CEO of a big company, they are busy people and your email or phone call will probably get lost in the noise.
· Reporters can be good for stories, find the specialists – who is actually going to help you or be interested in your cause?
· Webteams can be good if you have some technical issues to report or technical questions.
· If you’re going for editorial opportunities or advertising opportunities look for a publications list/features list/calendar – coordinate your pitch with the topics they are going to be covering or plan for the future.
If you only have an [email protected] you can search the website, company or publication on LinkedIn and navigate to their employees section. You may end up with a huge list of people with no idea who is best to contact. The best person you can contact is a journalist or reporter who writes about something relevant to you. If you are looking for reasons other than editorial opportunities then finding the person most relevant to you is always going to be the way to go. Of course, job titles can give you an idea of someones position in a company but if you are looking for a reporter interested in your topic, then this will not be enough.
If you have a list of reporters or bloggers on a company or news website you can use simple advanced search queries to find reporters reporting about your specific topics of interest. If I wanted to find someone at Hallam to buy my link analysis tool or to work together with on some content for the Hallam blog or an external publication then I could use a search query. Of course, [email protected] or emailing Susan would probably be the easiest option but this is less likely to reach the right person and get discarded or put to one side.
A search query like the following may be suited:
site:hallam.co.uk “link building”
This will search your chosen website for pages including “link building” as a phrase. If you find these results are too specific, by removing the quotation marks you will be looking for pages containing either or both of the phrases.
This will bring up pages where this phrase has been mentioned, allowing you to explore these articles for authors. Ask yourself:
- Who is the most recurrent author?
- Who seems to me most on track with my ideas?
- Who is going to be most receptive to me in topic?
- Who is going to be most receptive when it comes to time? (Spoiler: Probably not the MD)
Once you have this name, look them up on LinkedIn. You may have connections in common and you may be able to find their email address, phone number or even Twitter Handle.
Advanced Search Queries
To add to the use the of advanced search query above, we can also use it in a different way. Search by topic can be great but maybe you might want to find a list of influencers you want to contact, you may have some ideas an examples of people but no websites to go on. Try thinking of a contributory website or publication like Forbes, for example. Industry experts write here but this is not the website of their company or organisation. Try a search of their author pages, navigate yourself to an article written by a contributor, click on their name. This should almost always take you to some kind of author profile page. Note down the title of the page. Each author or contributor will have one of these pages with the same template. Find some text that is unique to this type of page. I’ve done this on Forbes and found that contributors, unsurprisingly have “contributor” at the head of their author page, so I’ve tried:
It throws up a load of pages just including the word contributor and not the author pages of the contributors I want. Go back to an author page and find some more elements that are probably unique to that page. I’ve gone for “Contributor” and “Posts”. Add this to your search query like so:
site:forbes.com “Contributor” + “Posts”
This brings up exactly what I’m looking for. You can use this as a working list of high authority prospects, you could even add a word or phrase related to your topic to try to pick out contributor pages that have relevant posts listed in the recent posts section in this example.