How to get featured in Variety media using the principles of earned pr
Written by Angel Mora
The “new normal” we operate in has given brands, experts, influencers, entertainers and artists the responsibility to inform, entertain, and contribute to audiences beyond the mere exchange for their offer. This is especially true if they’re looking forward to receive a shoutout from a big platform like Variety’s.
Such a scenario has brought up a resource that until now had been used sporadically in the past but is now shaping our concept of engagement: earned pr.
That’s why for today’s article we will analyze the consumption behavior of the Internet audience and how being part of a new communication trend can make your personal brand fit relevant narratives involving the Variety.
But first, let’s begin to dissect about the importance of Variety in 2020, the origins of earned pr and users that navigate the Web.
Get as far as Variety needs you to
It is known that the tradition of Variety dates back to the beginning of the last century when it was founded by Sime Silverman. Still, it is surprising to see how relevant it has been done today under the management of Penske Media Corporation and Claudia Eller (Chief Editor) thanks to the fact that despite the changes, society continues to revolve around human stories.
And that is the reason why the actors of the moment are always on the cover, advice, reports and special interviews in its printed version.
But it is in the digital field where the work as well as the dynamics of supply and demand can be better appreciated, where they touch on issues of international relevance with a prestigious but less rigid perspective than other relatively more recent publications.
In fact, Variety’s first source of traffic is traffic, indicating that its main strength lies in having content that meets both the interests of its audience and the demands of Penguin.
Getting a feature there would make your online presence or that of your initiative also position itself to get the attention of the more than 18 million visitors it gets and 16.000 backlinks all over the Web.
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The new online boundaries
Nowadays the public is more connected than ever and it is also a reality that commerce has been exploiting the nature of globalization through its own digital channels.
Yet recently a brand-new paradigm based on external links to longer-range platforms is emerging as the popular tool that will dominate the industry from now on, and surprisingly for many, Variety stands out as one of its pioneers.
That said, at this moment the demand for information is at its highest point in the history of the Internet; in such a way that the world population gets exposed to a large amount of data that they have learned to filter and prefer according to its quality.
- Up until March, the online service has had a inception rate of 94.6% around the world, according to a recent report released by Statista.
After the almost definitive transference of traditional media (radio, TV, newspapers and magazines) to the digital sphere, far from playing down its marketing properties, they have ratified them as an important component in communication strategies as a whole. That is the reason why there is always a noticeable “before and after” for corporations and leaders after a story or feature in the press.
Debunking advertising as a tool to influence masses
For several years now, users have demonstrated that advertising as a tradition and means of communication with companies has been relegated solely to notifying about recent releases and launches. Thereby, the exchange dynamic has been translated into the media outlet field where the prominent portals like Variety that display higher credibility rates are those that base their strategy on informing and entertaining off of content, not on promotion.
Hence, it is essential within your administration to find methods for approaching the latter, and one of the most effective is contributing to the news apparatus from your own digital space with the purpose of accumulating earned media, specifically an article or mention.
- According to Hubspot, the output of the online press can increase overeall brand awareness of a project or name by 17%.
The immediate consequence of designing an informative program will be that your brand is bound to get recognized in the eyes of public opinion and those who instate it. As might be expected, the market is partitioned into different sections with journalist and editors who have the power to decide the fate of a press release.
For example, developing media scheme around the goal of appearing in Variety works especially well when you go for the placing of your online presence within the field of innovation or as someone who isn’t afraid of speaking their mind.
However, bear in mind that achieving this goal demands lots of training and planning; which leads us directly to the next point.
Getting involved in Variety’s media apparatus
Well, we have already made it clear that other networks and influencers are your new allies and should be included immediately as part of your proposal.
Based on that premise, consider that the more press appearances you get, the more credibility you gain within your target audience and potential clientele and the more chances available for drawing the attention of Variety’s journalists.
- A recent report shows that earned pr-based branding actions on digital news platforms increase companies’ revenue by 23%.
At the same time, by applying my recommendations you are going to have for the first time Variety’s journalists knocking on your door – via social media or directly on your Website if you have the appropriate forms – asking for further details about you (or instead, more possibilities you have to be mentioned on their site after sending a pitch).
It is indeed a cyclical process that not only belongs to large corporations anymore. Earning the first appearance on a media outlet is about meeting universal parameters of interest. These are:
You already have a brand based on a talent, product, service or social cause, but what is it that makes it different, peculiar, or unusual?
Remember there is a lot of competition waiting to take your place at Variety’s homepage so start thinking about what would be the ideal focus of an article mentioning the offer.
Once you have found a winning message to print on your plan, choose a specific niche. Within one single portal there are different subcultures and users, all with complex deficiencies and triggers – those used to get most of the information they handle on the subject.
Have you already given your brand sentimental value? This is a popular formula that chains use to better appeal to Variety and its reading public.
These include elements like stories of improvement (Apple), transformation (Virgin Group), or growth (Google). Placing that identity works as a hook for clicks and websites will notice (specially Variety’s editors).
Users’ needs change and your company must adapt to them, as the main theme of Variety’s has been doing for the past 4 months.
For example, a few years ago nobody would have imagined that topics such as public health or the economy would be so openly managed by the average audience, but the social development and transparency of opinion spaces has led to this happening. Therefore, try to always relate your brand to current events so that it is perceived as fresh news by those who find it.
Of course, in addition to these principles, it is crucial to implement an adequate process of research, planning, and long-term execution. Let us then enter the topic (which is the real reason you got here).
A brief guide to winning Variety’s favor
Being able to bring a label to its peak of digital success denotes staying fully aware of the power of having the reach of external platforms that speak well of you, and on the exact terms that benefit you. Accordingly, you must know how Variety works from the inside. There is a vast number of methods for avoiding being ignored or even generating bad press.
Below I share my 5 personal steps with which I managed early in my career to obtain great contacts within the journalistic union and the new wave of virtual entrepreneurship:
- Turning your project into an offer that they cannot reject
Although by this I don’t mean having to pay for receiving media coverage, there is a universal truth: in order to gain something – in this case being the visibility of your offer to the audience — you must provide value in a seemingly disinterested way. Remember that Variet’s theme revolves around social justice, entertainment and (sometimes) polarizing themes.
The business people that continually accumulate a good amount of earned pr are those that have built an effective path for collaboration, being the firsts “delivering” to external platforms.
Studies show that the average user spends approximately 395 minutes in media daily.
For example: If yours is a startup that soon plans to launch an Uber-style on-demand services app, let’s say cleaning, you can probably offer your point of view as an informant to one of Variety’s contributors about the technological barriers that are presented with offline cleaning services and use it for speaking on a recent scandal (i.e., the data management scandal by quarantine apps).
What you’re going to achieve with that tactic is to publicize your expert or influencer status drawing their attention to taking a look at your proposal.
- Create engaging content
Yes, the basis of the new Public Relations explores more ground than just networking. Remember that your website and your communication channels must not only be present but release relevant information regularly.
This task is regularly performed having just the users in mind. The problem with this take is that the range you have before arranging a media shout out is quite limited.
Therefore, add a specific tone and format to your quality content that captures the attention of Variety on its own. There is a certain type of style and material that must be available for speaking the language of the press. Otherwise, even if you have helped them on previous occasions, no journalist will listen to your request.
In this way, look at what you have been doing from an informative point of view, you can even guide yourself from my article “Top 5 rules to contact journalists and get published“, where I tackle what an effective press release should look like and teach you to mirror its structure for your content.
- Formulate a bulletproof strategy
The process of accumulating earned pr should be supposed to work even if you make slow progress for a short period. The reason for it is that the concept of Earned Media also holds the reaction content made by other users.
These may not have the support of critics, but some (influencers and experts) may be just as beneficial for your brand to generate clout and boost your relevance in the eyes of the Variety’s staff.
Consequently, take the time to build a network of potential allies because even if their help doesn’t initially look the way you imagined, any kind of response equates to progress.
- Assume objective criteria
As I have said on other occasions, the main objective as far as PR is concerned is to create one-on-one links with their receivers, just like singers do. However, this does not rule out that your actions to achieve them must be systematic.
The reality is that absolutely everything that takes place within a media plan must have a final purpose (or several). Therefore, don’t wait to make friends among the journalists from Variety to request a collaboration, send your press release, or create a list of contacts in the media and other virtual spaces.
If you have followed steps 1, 2, and 3 you should have a good estimate of possible targets. Create a contact calendar in which daily or weekly you only focus on approaching one of them after having analyzed their publication routine as well as their digital footprint.
- Set a precedent
At this point, take out the heavy artillery. When some people try to “sell” a topic related to their career they end up sounding like what they’re intending to get is free advertising; and that is not what you are looking for. A product can be sold by anyone, but very few manage to establish their presence in the market for longevity.
The key is then to demonstrate that you are synonymous with experience, knowledge and honesty. Create a robust and sustainable ecosystem thinking about achieving small victories that gradually bring you closer to a great goal, such as counting getting coverage for your next release.
ouAt this point y can even skip a little bit of the traditional methodology of press releases and DMs which will inevitably sometimes end up in the trash or ignored and offer to directly invite journalists, editors and freelance contributors to exclusive corporate instances: do short interviews for your portal (this is a role change that will surely be interesting for them) or include them as references within your own blog.
Betting on a communication strategy based on earned pr can provide great results both in the short and medium-term. However, the ideal approach for you will depend on how you decide to follow the guidelines I just gave today and work them having your industry and the reputation of Variety in mind.
On the other hand, if you are interested in expanding your knowledge to identify what type of service you need to hire, at Media Coverage we specialize in the area of Marketing and Publicity advice.
We have available in our “Pricing” section the different media plans to which you can subscribe for ensuring that your brand executes effective strategies looking for specific outcomes.
And as usual, we are waiting for you in the comments section. The rest of the team and I will be attentive to your opinions and will surely take them into account for our next post.