Pitching your news to the media can often be a daunting process. One phone call or email to a journalist can be the deciding factor on whether or not your news gets covered, so you have to make sure your pitch is both interesting and on point.
Here are 6 ways you can perfect your PR pitch:
Be clear on your angle: What are the key messages of your story? To avoid journalists deleting your email, pitch a piece of news that’s actually worth reading. To do this you need to very clear on your angle – how does your story add value to the readers of your target outlets? Pitching your story with a newsworthy angle will really help you get coverage so think this through in detail before drafting your release and pitching it to the media.
Lead with the story not your brand: To be blunt, journalists aren’t really interested in your attempts at self-promotion, they want to understand how your news benefits their readers. With this in mind, throughout the release and in your pitch you need to lead with a focus on the news, not your brand. Think about why readers will be interested in your news and build your pitch around that. If you manage to do this and get coverage then your brand will reap the benefits by association with the story so it’s a win for you all round.
Read the news: Not just any news, make sure you read articles previously published by the journalists you’re targeting. Doing this will help you gain knowledge of topics that interest them and (more importantly) their readers, you’ll understand their writing style and the types of articles they actually send to print / upload online. By knowing these details you can tailor your pitch to meet their needs which will help you get noticed.
Recognise deadlines: Timing is everything in journalism. Before you pick up the phone do your research to find out what deadline your target media works to. Every publication might have a different deadline depending on its frequency (daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly) and it’s up to you to know this so you can avoid calling a journalist 10 minutes before their next deadline. If your release is time sensitive then I would recommend giving journalists plenty of lead in time for them to cover it.
Know what you’re going to say in advance: I don’t know about you but I always like to plan what I’m going to say before I pick up the phone to make a pitch. I write bullet points with my key messages so I don’t forget any important points. If you’re not confident pitching to the media then pull together a script to help you get straight to the point and make the most of the time you have with them on the phone.
Pull together a short overview of your brand: Keep it short, simple and succinct. Always have a synopsis of your brand ready to share as part of your pitch so journalists can gain an understanding of your product or service, your target audiences and your positioning in the marketplace. This should be no longer than a paragraph and should be very basic.
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