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How to approach international outreach for digital PR 

Benjamin McNeil

Benjamin McNeil, Outreach Executive

April 10, 2024

Are you looking to take your digital PR campaign global or dipping your toe into a brand-new market? It can be a daunting experience approaching unfamiliar territories through international outreach, but the secret to doing so is knowing how to connect with your audience. 

Gaining international coverage can provide your client with fantastic SEO value, boost global brand awareness, and build authority abroad. However, without prior knowledge of how to pitch your stories to journalists in other countries, the odds of landing coverage there are slim to none. 

At Verve Search, as a team with multiple different nationalities speaking 20 different languages between us, we sure know a thing or two about international cultures. And, all of this has allowed us to build links across an impressive 39 countries in 2023 alone. So, buckle up because these are our tips on how to tackle international outreach.  

Top tips on expert international outreach

international outreach expert tips - verve search

1. Media Landscape

Get to grips with the media landscape where you’d like to land coverage. Is it America, or Singapore? What about the UK – or down under in Aus? Perhaps you already follow the news abroad and have a good grasp of how the news cycle works. If not, then fear not, as you’ll be able to learn all you need to know through online research.

You should ideally be aware of the biggest publications, key syndication networks, and the susceptibility of the market to digital PR campaigns. Markets such as the UK and US may be oversaturated with pitches on the daily making it more difficult to cut through the noise, whereas markets further afield such as Singapore or Thailand may not be accustomed to receiving digital PR press releases. 

2. Language Skills

Brush up on your language skills. Never underestimate the value of knowing the language of the country where you want to launch your campaign. After all, the more languages you know, the more people will be able to understand the ideas you want to put out into the world. 

Fluency in the target language will be handy for outreach-related tasks such as translating (or writing) copy, drafting press releases, and facilitating communications with journalists. Here is a friendly piece of advice: Google Translate will never be enough. 

3. Cultural Sensitivities 

Be conscious of cultural differences. Knowing the language and looking into how the press functions is unfortunately not enough. There are cultural sensitivities which you’ll need to be aware of to avoid making a serious faux pas, or worse yet, offending your audience. 

Potential pitfalls could include not being aware of public holidays, cultural events, or differing customs. How you address a journalist is worth thinking about too. In some regions, you’ll need to address a journalist more formally and in others, this might come across as silly or insincere. 

4. Time Zones 

Make sure to research your time zones when you outreach internationally. Chances are if an email is received at 3 am, then it’s unlikely to be noticed. The last thing you want is for your story to disappear into the abyss of a busy inbox and never to be seen again. 

There are, of course, arguments for when the best time is to send out a pitch. Most people tend to agree that the start of the working day is the most effective. But then again, a good story is a good story and will be covered regardless. 

5. Be Flexible 

See what works and what doesn’t through first-hand experience. As soon as you’re equipped with the knowledge and insights required to share your campaigns overseas, then you can get a feel for the market yourself by simply diving straight in. 

We recommend testing out different campaign types for international outreach. Some markets may prefer more fun lifestyle pieces, whereas others might be drawn to more serious data-led stories with bulletproof methodologies. You may also notice that journalists from some countries have a lower threshold for follow-ups and reporters from others could be more likely to share feedback.  

Ensure to reflect on your wins and your losses and learn from these as this will broaden your horizons for the next time.

So, what can we take from this? 

Securing international links for your clients can be invaluable, and not just in SEO terms. However, international outreach isn’t something which should be taken lightly. You’ll need a robust strategy, along with some language expertise, and resilience. Once you’ve got your head around time zones and cultural nuances, you’ll be landing those links here there and everywhere and feeling like Mr. Worldwide in no time.  

Interested in our content marketing and digital PR services? Get in touch. 

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