Tips for Pitching the Media
Ø The most important thing in pitching to the media is to make sure you are doing it right. You want to build relationships and not do more damage than good by annoying those you pitch.
Ø Personalize your pitches whenever possible. Think how good you feel when you get an email that’s directed to you and also you can tell that they’ve done their homework and know something about you.
Ø Plan results. Don’t waste your time. Know who you want to target and why you feel it’s a good match.
Ø Keep organized in your pitching so it’s easy to locate those who work with your products/services, etc. You don’t want to constantly be looking for email addresses/contacts, etc. Your database is true gold so take good care of it.
Ø Think angles & hooks and be ready to tell why your story is not only relevant but newsworthy.
Ø Watch the news constantly, what relates. It’s amazing in PR how every week something else tops the news. It just shows the potential to getting your product or services out there connected to a news event.
Ø Make sure to give reporters something they don’t already have. You can report on a story that’s in the news now, but don’t just reiterate what’s been said before over and over again. What do you have that’s new and can add more to the story? Again goes back to the angle, what angle do you have that’s new and informative.
Ø When pitching, lead with that pitch. It’s your most important point and the reason they need to hear what you have to say. Too many make the mistake of taking too long to get to the main point.
Ø Visualize your pitch and be able to visualize your story as well. When you get the opportunity to talk to journalist, you can even say, “I can see an interview with (person) and we would discuss (topic).
Ø Provide complete stories. Often times you can have other experts that can help your story making their job so much easier. For example, I once was on a segment for CBS4 News and they were interviewing me on being a virtual assistant and how that can be a great idea for those unemployed. They wanted to also interview a company that was utilizing a virtual assistant. BAMM, I was able to use one of my local clients and bingo, we had an awesome story.
Ø Also, think trends in business. This is so ever changing, but exciting.
Ø Be aware of the PR Calendar and when to submit news. Magazine times are different than newspaper times. You need to plan ahead when to submit.
Ø Pitch human-interest stories. What inspires those in your community? What have you done that helps those in your community?
Ø If you are pitching on a problem that’s current, don’t only mention the problem, pitch the solution too. For example, unemployment is at an all time high, start a business to succeed.
Ø Be aware when a topic has reached its due date. You know when it’s just been in the news so much that no one can bear to hear it again. It’s time to change it up.
Ø Be honest and truthful. Often times when a reporter asks additional background questions it can be easy to just say “yes, to questions that are maybe not 100% truthful. It’s okay to let them know the truth. Try, “Well I’ve never done that actually before, but I have done … and emphasize a related strength.”
THE ART OF PITCHING
Ø Know the media outlets you want to pitch dependent on what and who you are pitching (is your target audience moms, CEO’s, baby boomers. That makes a big difference.)
Ø Decide what methods will give you the best results. Some pitches are made for radio, other newspapers, etc.
Ø Make sure that the magazine, radio, TV, etc. you are pitching to would be interested in your topic. Why waste both of your time by submitting a sports topic to a business website.
Ø If you are pitching for a radio segment, provide some insights on what you could discuss as well as your bio.
Ø When pitching, don’t just say go to my blog or website and see for yourself. Take the time to write why you are a good fit.
Ø Think outside the box. Whatever makes you unique in your business can help to make you unique in your pitch as well
Ø Know how to pitch that particular person. Do they want emails sent to them, a form filled out on their site, comments to their blog, etc. When you pitch the right way, you better your chances of success. .
Ø When pitching via emails write a brief introduction. Just a sentence or two that tells why the story you are submitting is news to them and worth reading further. Also, tell why you are the person who should be reporting on this.
Ø Subject line counts BIG Time! Don’t just rehash the title. Provide something that grabs their interest.
Ø Never send an attachment unless requested to.
Ø NEVER EVER do multiple email to numerous reporters so they can see it! (CC everyone. YIKES!!! It scares me even thinking about it.)
Ø When you do get mentioned in a publication, make sure you follow-up and thank them.
WHO TO PITCH TO
Ø Send your press to reporters who regularly write on your industry. Be sure to build your credibility, show your qualifications and provide great insight into that topic.
Ø You can find reporters by Google Alerts, reading newspapers, magazines, etc.
Ø Set up Twitter searches and utilize Twitter. Media is absolutely utilizing social networking today. Follow them on Twitter. Join their Facebook Page. Go to PR Twitter Chats. (Look for PR related hastags to find them.)
Ø Find out if the reporter you are interested in targeting has a blog. Familiarize yourself with that blog. Add comments, building relationship. I agree with you. I love your “specific comment. Would like to see more …
Ø You can purchase media lists. But however you get your lists, keep it current and updated and treat it like GOLD. (These gold in them there lists.)
SIGN UP FOR THESE TO FIND JOURNALISTS LOOKING FOR EXPERTS
Ø Haro – HelpaReporter.com
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