The Blog: Muck Rack
Editor: Jessica Lawlor, Features Editor
Contact info: Email Jessica atwith a brief outline of your idea
Topic: PR, marketing, social media and journalism. Muck Rack helps journalists connect with sources, companies and PR professionals.
Target audience: “Our mission at Muck Rack is to be the go-to resource for media and communication professionals,” says Jessica. “Our target audience is a mixture of public relations professionals and journalists.”
While you might mostly see PR professionals contributing to and interacting with the blog, Muck Rack counts journalists as a large part of its audience, so make sure to keep both groups in mind when planning your pitch.
Compensation: Yes, but it depends whether you identify as a writer or as a business owner wanting to promote your work.
“Muck Rack compensates journalists and people who write for a living per post with the opportunity for a bonus for pieces shared to a certain target amount within two weeks of the publish date,” explains Jessica. “We’ve had several journalists write recently and those posts have done extremely well.”
“For PR professionals or people who write to promote their business, we offer exposure and access to the Pro version of Muck Rack.”
Other perks: “We pride ourselves on forming mutually beneficial relationships with all of our writers and aim to get them the most exposure possible,” says Jessica.
You’ll be able to include a two-sentence bio at the end of your post that contains a link to your Muck Rack profile as well as one or two links to your blog, website or social media accounts.
With nearly 38,000 people following Muck Rack on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and Tumblr, your post has the potential to attract a lot of eyeballs. In addition, all posts are included in the Muck Rack Daily e-newsletter, which goes out to more than 20,000 journalists, PR pros and media executives.
“As an added bonus,” notes Jessica, “contributors get free access to Muck Rack Pro Standard for three months. Guest contributors enjoy increased access to Muck Rack’s features including creating media lists, unlimited notes, receiving important alerts and more.” The Standard plan costs $179 per month, so that’s a significant savings.
What kind of posts they like: “Fresh, practical and compelling” ideas that showcase your communications experience and knowledge are your best bet to get a byline on Muck Rack. “The content should demonstrate industry expertise and a deep understanding of the relationship between PR, journalism and social media.”
“Whether it’s a post about a new social media trend, a how-to guide for PR pros or commentary on timely media news,” says Jessica, Muck Rack is open to your ideas. This isn’t the time to hold back or share a less-than-sparkling pitch; Jessica notes that the best posts are “daring, smart and savvy.”
Examples of posts that have done well: Want to make a splash with your guest post? Study Muck Rack’s top 10 posts from 2014 before pitching. “Collectively, these posts were shared more than 6,000 times on social media!” says Jessica.
Here are the top three posts:
- Newspaper reporters aren’t endangered, they’re evolving
- How to win followers and influence journalism: lessons from journalists with the most followers on Twitter
- 10 things I learned about journalists after spending hours with them
What you can do to help the editor say YES: “Make it easy for us to say YES to you,” says Jessica.
“Provide as much information as possible about your idea in your initial pitch. A potential headline and a list of three or four bullets outlining what the piece is makes it so much easier for me to scan through an email and make a quick decision about if an idea is a fit for the Muck Rack blog.”
Not sure what to write about? Brainstorm, read through comments on your blog, talk to colleagues, ask your Twitter followers — but don’t ask for ideas in your pitch. “I can’t tell you how many people reach out with interest to write for the blog and then ask me to give them ideas,” she says.
“I’m happy to help brainstorm content and share what works well for the Muck Rack blog, but the reason we work with guest contributors is because we want to hear your unique outlook and take on all things media.” Do your research beforehand and suggest one or two specific, well-outlined post ideas for your best chance of hearing a “yes.”
Jessica’s advice isn’t just applicable to Muck Rack; her recommendations are a great way to boost your guest post acceptance rate no matter who you’re pitching. Making an editor’s job easier is a great way to get on her good side; even if this particular idea isn’t a fit, you’ll likely have a better chance of being invited to pitch again.
Lead time: “Typically, a Muck Rack contributor will see their post published within a month to a month and a half after their pitch is accepted — we like to work ahead!” says Jessica.
However, if you have an idea based on a trending topic, reach out. “We’re always open to changing our editorial calendar for timely, relevant pieces!” she adds.
Google Page Rank: 3
What’s Google Page rank? In basic terms, it’s Google’s assessment of your site, from 1-10, with 10 being best. You want to guest post for sites with high page ranks because when that site links back to your blog, it boosts your SEO.
Have you contributed to Muck Rack, or is it on your pitch list? Tell us about your experience!