One of the ways to get great PR for your business is to write pitches that can be sent to the media and other places. The goal is to become a regular contributor to those you send to and often times that’s exactly what happens. It’s just that so many aren’t sure how to do it right. So let’s break it down in bite-size tips!
So…exactly what is a pitch? Let’s discuss the many types of pitches:
- A story to a reporter or editor – stories sell, just make yours relevant
- A pitch to a radio show, TV program, etc., to be a guest
- A pitch that accompanies an article to get your article accepted in major publications, websites, etc.
- A pitch to book reviewers to ask for a book review
- A pitch to accompany a press release and show why the release is newsworthy and of interest to who you are sending it to
- A pitch for a blog tour asking to be a guest blogger. As a blogger you can see if they would be interested in posting your articles, being part of a contest, do a Q&A, host giveaways, and more. Guest blogging is a great way to build long-lasting relationships and get in front of new audiences.
- A pitch to secure speaking engagements letting them know why you would be the perfect speaker for their event or audience
Pitch Basics 101 – Follow The Guidelines
- Know what is newsworthy. Really know what is newsworthy. Now that you are doing yoga isn’t newsworthy, even though you are selling health products. However, you selling health-related products and you having a great tip article on how to cut sugar out of your diet or the best foods to eat with different medical issues to improve your health and wellness can be. Pitched right, you can get in major media and those sites that would be interested in what you are offering.
- Be aware of trends, editorial calendars, relatable human-interest stories, etc. Trends are especially awesome this time of year. Media loves to know the upcoming trends in 2018. So pitch those now! Example: Social media trends you need to know for 2018. Marketing trends for 2018. (You get the drift!)
- Pitch correctly to build great relationships. Want to get a nasty gram back from an editor, send your health-related pitch to the sport’s editor. Boy do they not have a sense of humor and rightly so. Do your homework and pitch accordingly. P.S. another way to annoy them beyond belief is to send to them after they have asked to be deleted from your database. You can see the steam coming through the emails. Avoid at all costs! And again, they are correct in asking to be removed and being upset that you didn’t do so, so always follow through and make sure they don’t receive additional pitches.
- Plan results. Know who you are targeting and why. READ their publications so you know what they cover. Your ace in the hole is when you provide the right publication with the right article and it’s error-free and provides killer tips. Bamm, they will love you forever. Well, maybe not. But they will more than likely add your article and consider you for future ones.
- Think of unique angles and hooks you have for a news story. Give them something they don’t already have. In the pitch, spell it out clearly. Don’t just pitch them saying, I’m an expert on this so let’s chat. Pitch them with …. I’m an expert on this, I’ve been quoted in these major media previously and here are my tips. Now, you want to provide the tips in the email itself and not send them back to your site to find them. Editors are busy people and they aren’t going to go to your site to find these tips you make mention of, even though you’ve told them they are KILLER TIPS! You have to provide them. Make it as easy as possible to allow them to copy and paste your tips right into their publication. They might just reward you with a feature story in their publication with the entire article you sent.
- Lead with the most important points of whatever you are sending. Don’t save the best for last. That subject line and first two sentences should open the door so you can proceed accordingly. Don’t just stop there and have fluff for the rest of the pitch.
- Use statistics when it adds to your pitch. Publications love to have stats they can quote. Just make sure they are quoted accurately with the proper attribution to the author. Examples include: how many entrepreneurs in 2017, how much do businesses spend in marketing a year, etc.
- Be consistent. Don’t be a one-pitch wonder. Send pitches out frequently. All too often, clients will send out one article and we get good responses and then they stop. Ouch it just hurts!!! This is the wrong way to pitch. The best way to do it is to pitch again within a short amount of time so they remember you. You hear it all the time that it takes a few times to get to that “yes” and that is definitely true in media pitching. Yes, with the right pitch you can hear back immediately, but when you consistently send out great pitches with awesome information, you build those media relationships and it won’t be long until they will be coming to you when they need expert advice. (Boy does that make my job easier!)
- When pitching, send to the major publications first as they might want exclusives. In the subject line and in the pitch tell them it’s an exclusive article too. Then you want to wait to send to others until you know they aren’t interested. Many publications will tell you exactly how long to wait.
Prove Your Worth And Show Them Why You Are the Expert In the Pitch
- Prove why you are the expert with the content of your pitch. The content and tips you send speaks of your knowledge on the topic you are pitching on. Hopefully you can see in this article that I love to pitch and truly do try and do it right. That’s what you want to do in your articles and pitches-show that you are really good at what you do. Don’t have the same ole’ dated material that others have. You get recognized for being the best when your pitches show you are exactly that.
- Add in your bio and your media mentions and where you have appeared. When you get new media, add it in. Just don’t list every single one. Keep with the ones that will impress this audience the best. For example, a business pitch is going to want to hear you were featured in Entrepreneur or Fast Company, whereas a health and wellness pitch might want to see your Health Magazine mention more.
- Prove your worth by the quality of the pitch itself. If it is riddled with typos, has five different fonts, isn’t consistent and well just looks wrong, you aren’t impressing anyone. Read and reread it, make it look sensational, and do all you can to show that you have got this down pat.
See how easy it is to pitch. What is really awesome too is once you got your format down pat, it’s a rinse and repeat for additional pitches. Add in new content, but keep the pitch basics the same. And remember, you don’t have to do it alone. Why not seek the help of those who do this regularly and let them assist you in getting your name and brand out there in the best way possible.
Diana Ennen, President of Virtual Word Publishing, www.virtualwordpublishing.com offers PR and Marketing services, book marketing services, and PR and Virtual Assistant Coaching. She also offers PR Classes including her latest PR Success Series at www.prsuccessseries.com. Follow her on social media at https://www.facebook.com/VirtualWordPublishing/ and https://twitter.com/DianaEnnen