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3 Mistakes Business Owners Make When Pitching

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We’ve handled publicity campaigns since 2012 and have noticed that entrepreneurs who want to get press for their businesses make 3 common but crucial mistakes that keep them going in circles. Are you guilty of any of these?

1. Pitching and reaching out to the wrong people

2. Not sharing the right story

3. Not having the proper plan in place

These mistakes could have easily been avoided if you knew just a few things.

Before you start pitching, you must get clear on your why and your story.

Publications exist  to tell stories, so you need to make sure that you have something that fits and needs to be told. If you’re wondering how to do that, simply think about why people should be care or be interested. What makes your story different from all the others?

Once you know what story you want to tell, you should create a plan around how you’re going to get the word out.  Without a strategy, it’s easy to remain stagnant and anonymous, and in business that can result in lack of sales, brand partnerships, and visibility

Once you have your strategy in place, you need to create a list of publications that are a fit for your story. Read various articles, pay attention to who the writers are, research their emails.

Then you can create your media pitch based on various industry trends and story ideas of the publications you have researched. This way, you avoid making the mistakes we mentioned earlier and you can start to increase your visibility and brand awareness.


How To Craft A Story The Press Will Care About

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Okay so you’ve decided to take the leap! You are ready to take your brand to the next level and activate a press campaign. You have a popping website, your Instagram looks clean and you know that you provide an amazing product for your client.  Now, it’s time to reach out to the media and get featured!

You’ve seen a million people get featured on podcasts, magazines,etc. It can’t be that hard, right? WRONG. Public relations is all about RELATIONSHIP BUILDING, being an asset to journalists, writers, producers, etc. In order for you to be an asset/valuable resource, you have to develop a story that the press will care about.  Here’s how:

  1. Pay attention to what they write about- Just because someone writes for Essence, that doesn’t mean that they will write about YOU! Each editor/writer has their own beat/industry that they cover. Someone that is a beauty writer is not going to care about your new tech app unless it is beauty related. So before you press send on that email, be sure that you are paying attention to the writer and the stories they’ve featured in the past. Ask yourself the following questions,

Have they covered this before?

Does this seem like something that they would be interested in?

Why would it be interesting to them?

How am I positioning myself as a thought leader and asset by providing them with this story line.


2. It’s all about New News-  No one wants to continuously talk about the same old thing. After a while, it gets boring right? It’s the same thing with crafting your brand story. Sure, your competition may have just been featured for a similar product, but perhaps you have a different viewpoint. Here’s the thing, there is nothing new under the sun. It is all about how you position yourself. So for instance, if I am a makeup artist that just created a new vegan eyeshadow pallette, as I am preparing to pitch myself to the media, I am going to focus on reasons why I created my palette (for the sake of this example, let’s say I suffered from rashes using MAC/Sephora make up) and it being a timely story, (my pallette will be released Summer 2018) This will be of interest to the press because


  1. You are pitching to editors, writers who cover similar stories

  2. Your product is new/has just been released

  3. You are providing them with information that their audience needs


3. If at first you don’t succeed, try again- Let’s face it, you may not always get it right on the first try. Pitching to the press is about relationships and also trial and error. Sometimes in order to figure out what people will care about, you have to figure out what they don’t care about first. And this takes time. You may want to start with one set of outlets first ie podcasts, bloggers, etc and work your way up. This way, you have time to build upon your story, create and maximize current press opportunities and connect with bigger outlets all at the same time. Following up is key when it comes to creating rapport, getting featured in the press and establishing yourself in your industry


3 Things Google Won't Tell You About Press Campaigns

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A press campaign is a series of activities that are strategically planned to help a company and/business increase awareness and exposure. Sure, you can research Google about the components that are involved like press releases, media pitches, sponsorship decks, etc. It will even let you know that you need to identify your audience, decide on press angles and learn how to evaluate your success metrics. While all of this is important information, there are a few other things that you need to when making the decision to implement a press campaign for your brand.


  1. How To Prepare for The Pressure- Getting featured in the media is an amazing privilege; it helps to position your brand in the marketplace, increase your influence in your industry and aligns you among other thought leaders. While all of these things are key to growing your business, landing major interviews in various publications, television shows, etc can definitely add pressure (in a good way of course). Here’s what I mean- when you are preparing to pitch the media, you are not in control of the responses that you receive and when you receive them. For instance, when we work with clients, the goal is to get them 1-3 placements per week, which at minimum means that the client will have at minimum 4 press opportunities. This all sounds fun until you’ve forgotten to clear your schedule, you misread emails and are not prepared for the interview even after you’ve been given the talking points. As an entrepreneur, you must remember to take time out and get organized within your business. That means learning how to juggle a team, your own clients/customers and also being prepared for the unexpected to come while taking it all in stride.

  2. Press Campaigns Are Subject To Change Direction At Any Time- You may have developed certain press angles for your brand and you may have identified the various products/services that you want to highlight, but that does not mean that they are the end all be all for your campaign. Once you start pitching, you may find that you need to switch up the angles because no one is responding to your emails and/or they are deciding to pass on the story. If you are just starting out with little to no press, you may need to switch up your efforts from media pitching to creating content and activities that will capture attention. You have to give the media something to talk about and that may mean coordinating a launch event for your product, collaborating with a competitor, etc. There is not a one fits all approach when it comes to Press Campaigns. What worked for one person may not work for you.

  3. How Daunting The Tasks Are- Press campaigns are not always full of glitz and glam. To execute a successful PR campaign, it takes a ton of research, compiling lists, revising pitches and press releases, connecting with journalists, and follow up. Sometimes opportunities are given last minute and sometimes interviews, stories, etc are pulled. It takes hard work, knowing the ends and outs of the PR industry, and a true passion to secure results for your business and brand. Last but not least, it takes time! Be realistic with the goals that you and/or your publicist set.

3 Mistakes People Make When Media Pitching

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As we’ve stated before, media pitching is both an art and a science. It’s about being positioned at the right place and the right time for maximum exposure for your brand, (or your client’s brand). Whether you are a newbie publicist or trying to DIY, there are a few things you must know when it comes to media pitching.


1. Pitching to the WRONG Editor-  Public relations and securing placement is all about being strategic. Different editors, writers, reporter, etc cover different beats. Some focus on business/corportations, some focus on entrepreneurship/lifestyle brands. Prior to outreach, you must determine the category/beat that your brand is a fit for. Keep in mind your story angle to help you figure out which editor/writer would be best to reach out. If you are still unsure, send them a quick note asking them if they would be interested in covering your story. More than likely, they will introduce you to the appropriate contact.

2. Your Subject Line is TOO BORING- In order to capture the media’s attention, you must have an attention grabbing subject line! It has to excite the editor enough to make them want to open your email. For instance, if you are pitching a hair extension company, think about what makes the company different from their competition. If they have a special gala for Breast Cancer every year, your subject line may be: How This Beauty Brand Is Making A Difference For Women Battling Breast Cancer. It gives them an idea of what the story is about and intrigues them to learn more.

3. You don’t FOLLOW UP ENOUGH- In pitching the media, just like all things business wise, the key is in the follow up. As a rule of thumb, follow up with editors three times max. So you may pitch them on January 1st for an upcoming Valentine’s Day story; if you don’t get a response, follow up on the January 15th and again on the 20th. Each time you follow up, give the editors NEW INFORMATION. Ask them if they are interested in doing a review or product feature. Be sure to research the current stories they have written about. That way, you can tie in your product/service and they know you are familiar with their work.

The next time you activate a PR campaign, keep these tips in mind for media outreach.


Why Every Publicist Should Brand Themselves

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Many publicists don’t put themselves in the forefront because they feel like the spotlight should be reserved for clients! WRONG!


Gone are the days where working hard  behind the scenes is enough to get you noticed. You MUST create your own opportunities and position yourself to make a profit. Sure, you may have worked with some amazing brands and clients, but if no one knows that you exist, how do you expect new customers to find you?

Here are 3 reasons why EVERY Publicist should brand themselves:

  1. Boost Your Credibility- Pitching yourself to the media and sharing your story helps to boost your credibility. The more you share you expertise, the more features you obtain for yourself/ your business, the more credible you become. This way, when you pitch new clients, you can send them your case studies along with company highlights

  2. Increase Revenue-  Putting yourself out there via blog, podcast, magazine, etc allows yo to expand your company reach in front of your target audience. The more people you reach, the more people that are interested in your products and services. This will help to increase your bottom line whether you are servicing new clients or selling an event/new course. Sharing your story with various audiences brings more exposure and brand awareness.

  3. Increase Your Visibility- Again, getting in the forefront is all about positioning yourself for success and as a thought leader in your industry. As a publicist, you are only as good as your last PR campaign, and if you are not showcasing your work, going Live, obtaining press placements for yourself, you are missing out on potential clients and creating your visibility platform.