So, you’ve created your PR Plan, have all of the visuals/photos created and the website is perfect. You have your media list developed and now you are ready to pitch. But, wait! Before you press the SEND button on that email, let’s review a few things first.
Keep in mind that pitching to the media is an art. It takes time, good energy and a strategic approach.
Here are 4 ways to get the media to say Yes To Your Pitch:
Personalize Each Pitch According To The Writer/Editor- Writers/Editors are EXTREMELY busy. They have deadlines to meet, events to attend and of course, news, to report. No matter what the beat is, every industry is constantly buzzing with new trends, celebrity tie-ins, updated reports and more. If you want to secure press in a timely manner, it is crucial for you show that you’ve done your homework- the very first time you pitch. It’s not enough to say: “Hi Marianne” and then go into your pitch. Compliment the writer on their latest pitch, ask what they are currently working on and let them know how your client is a fit. Make sure it’s CLEAR that you know who they are, what they like to cover and what they are interested in.
2. Ask For What You Want- Focus on your overall goal for outreach. Do you want a feature or interview? Do you want to be featured on their online news segment? When you are pitching, let the writer know how you’d like to work with them and the publication. Again, it’s important to be specific and do your research. Before you pitch and ask for the feature, make their job EASY. For example, if you are pitching for a local TV segment, include the name of the segment, 3-5 talking points, why the audience would be interested and you/your client’s reel. Editors/writers have enough on their plates, you want to be a valuable resource/liaison, show them that you are an asset to their job. Have all materials including the press kit, photos, bio, etc on hand, stay ready so you don’t have to scramble and get ready.
3.) Following Up Is Key- Most times, you won’t get the yes you are looking for the first time you pitch, so it is important for you to follow up with the key outlets you want to reach. Do not follow up with the same pitch. Instead, ask if it is something that they are interested in. Pay attention to the stories that they have written during the time that you pitched them and follow up with how your business/client is a fit and/or how you can add a different perspective to the story line.
4.) Check The Submission Guidelines- This may seem like a simple step, but it is one that people often overlook. Every outlet, especially those that are digital have certain guidelines on how to pitch them. You must also look at the editorial calendar to assist you in developing press angles that are in alignment with the outlet themes, media coverage and more. You can also create a press calendar for your business/client(s) based on the editorial calendar as well.