Public relations is about building and maintaining relationships. So you have to explicitly tell the editor why she should want to pay attention to you, your business and what you have to say.
Gaining attention from the press and getting published in industry publications is one way to build your company’s brand, increase your visible expertise, improve your credibility, and win more new business.
Regardless of the industry that you’re in or represent, knowing how to effectively craft a pitch for the media is the most critical step to success in PR and content marketing. Here are some tangible tips and examples that will help you become a PR pitching pro in no time and write a persuasive media pitch.
Build a basic press list
This doesn’t have to be anything fancy and it doesn’t have to be hard. Find out who has written about you, your industry, your competitors, and your collaborators in the past and start there. Get the personal contact information for writers, bloggers, and reporters and start a spreadsheet. If you’ve got 20-25 names you’re off to a good start. Don’t feel the need to build a massive press list or purchase one from an agency. A small, targeted list is best.
2. Find your angle.
It’s also crucial to understand and communicate the story you’re trying to tell and how it aligns with the larger media trends yet provides a unique angle to the storyline.
Media contacts receive hundreds of pitches a day. If you’re lucky enough to get yours opened, the worst thing that someone with very little time can be confronted with is an unnecessarily long pitch. Find out how to say everything that you need to say in a paragraph or less. The more specific and focused you can be, the better.
3. Write your pitch.
Think of what that story might be and imagine what it might look like in the hands of the reporter you’ve chosen. From that point of view, prepare your pitch. Make your pitch by email first. Wait for some about 6 hours or preferably for a day; If the idea is a good one, the reporter may respond right away.
If you don’t hear back, perhaps the next step is a call. When you call, refer to the earlier message. Regardless of whether the reporter has seen it or not, re-forward as a courtesy as you are talking to allow the individual to scan the high points of the message and preliminarily respond.
4. Personalize your approach.
Do not blast or spam your message to several outlets at a time. If you have a press list of 25 people, send each pitch individually. It will take you about 2-3 hours. You can use the same body in your pitch, but each person’s name and details should be personalized.
5. Be respectful of the reporter’s right to make the decision.
As tempting as it is to ply the reporter with a strong armed pitch, you will be more successful by respecting the reporter’s right to say yes or no, while providing them with as many meaningful reasons as possible to have the desire to say yes.
Is the story an exclusive? An idea or a slant that hasn’t been offered to anybody else? Will it be of broad need and interest to the reporter’s readers or viewers, and does it give them strong news or an angle on the information that hasn’t been presented before? All of these ideas will help
6. Include your contact information.
Don’t forget to give them a way to contact you by phone or email to follow up, and including links to your pitch page, your website, Twitter, etc. Make sure you’re giving them plenty of additional resources.