Expert Comments: why and how to use them in digital PR campaigns

Chloe Chamberlain | 24th May 2022 | Digital PR

A lot of effort goes into creating a digital PR campaign – from brainstorming and analysing data to creating infographics and content production, and finally the all-important promotion. However, journalists receive hundreds of email pitches everyday so to help you stand out from the crowd, amplify your campaigns with expert comments.

What are expert comments and why should I use them?

Expert comments are relevant quotes from authoritative figures within their industry. Generally, expert comments fall into two categories: external and client.

External expert comments in digital PR campaigns add credibility to the piece, while using client insight also helps to position them as an expert in their field. Expert comments are a great hook to reel in journalists and catch their attention, so we recommend including them in your email pitches. 

But sourcing expert comments can be a lot easier said than done…

External expert comment

So if you’ve decided that you want to add authoritative external insight to your digital PR campaign – how do you find it?

Twitter is a great (and free) place to source external expert comments for your campaign.

In your tweet make sure to include:

  1. Expert: state who you’re looking for expertise from
  2. Topic: state what insight you’re looking for
  3. Incentive: let them know where their comments will go
  4. Contact: include your email address and make sure your DMs are open to everyone
  5. Hashtags: include trending, niche-relevant and ‘#PRrequest’ ‘#Journorequest’ hashtags to ensure you’re reaching your target audience
  6. Length: Keep it short and sweet. Remember you only have 280 characters

Top tip: tag journalist request Twitter accounts (such as @PressPlugs and @MediaMatchMaker) in a reply, to have them share your request with their subscribers too.

The key items to include in your tweet listed out

Another way to source external expert comments is by signing up to media/journalist databases such as Response Source, Media MatchMaker or Qwoted. Simply send a request including all the information you would include in a tweet but, as you’re not limited by a character count, you can also include the exact questions you’d like to have answered and a deadline for these answers. 

The great part about this approach is that your request then goes straight to the relevant people’s inboxes.

Client expert comment

Digital PR campaigns are all about promoting your client so using their insight to help position them as a thought-leader and expert in their field is a valuable activity. 

You can also use your client’s expertise to ‘Double Bubble’ on your campaigns. This is where you have created a campaign for one client and use another of your clients as an external expert. Including comments from two of your clients helps to position both as experts in their field, saves you time sourcing external insight and helps gain links for both of your clients (with minimal effort and time spent).

Another way to have your client’s expert comment used in campaigns is to tweet about them. This is best done when you see a story trending that is relevant to your client’s niche.

In your tweet, make sure to include what your client is an expert in, the trending news topic that they can comment on and ‘journorequest’ and ‘prrequest’ hashtags. This enables journalists and other digital PRs to use your client’s insight, with your permission, as an external expert comment for their article.

This is a highly efficient way to gain links for your clients, and utilising reactive opportunities is another.

Reactive opportunities

Digital PRs and journalists are always looking to source external expert comments to aid their campaigns, so keep your eyes peeled for relevant opportunities for your clients.

You can do this in multiple ways:

  • Check Twitter by searching keywords that are relevant to your client’s niche (TweetDeck is a good tool for this)
  • Scroll through the ‘journorequest’ and ‘prrequest’ hashtags
  • Sign-up to receive request emails from media/journalist databases (e.g. Response Source)
  • Search through all active and previous requests in media/journalist databases

Top tip: Create a ‘client comment bank’ where you can keep each of your client’s previous expert comments on file, so that you can quickly re-use them when relevant reactive opportunities arise.

In summary

  • Expert comments add authority to your digital PR campaigns and help to position your client as a thought leader in their industry
  • Use Twitter and media/journalist databases to source external expert comments and to monitor for relevant reactive opportunities
  • Remember to ‘double bubble’ on expert comments to add credibility to your campaign and position multiple clients as industry experts.

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