Use three points to make a pitch that a media professional would love
Pitching stories is one of the key parts to a successful public relations plan. Those that want their stories pitched have the story. However, they need one other key ingredient for success: what the reporters are interested in.
For successful pitches, the reporter and editors’ interests are fundamental. When you pitch, you’re not throwing a story in front of someone and demanding they publish it; you’re suggesting something they might be interested in. If you’re throwing stories around without getting the reporter or editor interested, you’re just wasting his or her time and your money. You need pitches that get a media professional excited and interested in what you want the world to know, not just a bland press release. An excited media professional comes from a positive experience that makes them more likely to consider your pitch.
An efficient, laser-guided approach to pitching will help your company give media professionals the types of experiences they love and get your company news coverage. Use these three tips to realign your pitches to be more effective.
1. Focusing on the right outlets
One mistake people make when it comes to pitching is using the shotgun approach: pitching a story to any news outlet you can find. This just leads to lots of pitches going into the trash and your PR budget getting smaller without any gains. Instead, you should be focusing on places that your story would be a good fit for.
Would anyone be interested in a story about your IT company’s new CEO in “Time Magazine”? No, unless you’re a large corporation that’s a household name. A better idea would be to find IT and business leadership-related media outlets that would naturally have an interest in what your pitches are.
2. Pitch stories your outlets would be interested and passionate about
Another key part of pitching is sending them to people that would be interested in them. If they show some interest, get them passionate about it. Explain to them how it aligns with their interests and how it’s the kind of story they want to tell.
By making them passionate about the story, you can also use this opportunity to make sure the media contact understands the pitch and represents your company well. Using passion to create a positive, two-way relationship ensures both of you will get something out of the story instead of the one-sided way media pitches are usually viewed.
3. Get to know your media contacts
Pitching isn’t the only part of getting your stories in the media. Building successful and positive relationships with media outlets is important as well. Introduce yourself and create great relationships with media contacts in places that would be receptive to your pitches. Having a pre-existing relationship makes it easier to tailor your pitch to what they’re interested in and clarify any misunderstandings. From there, you can apply step two to make it even more interesting to them once you’ve gotten their attention.
Reporters and editors receive hundreds of pitches every day. You not only need to make yours stand out from the others. You need to build interest in the story itself. Taking the time to pitch correctly will ensure your public relations budget is used far more effectively. It will also get the stories you want to appear in the media. Not only will it lead to more positive stories for you, but it also leads to memorable and great experiences with your PR team, eventually creating more interest in future pitches.
Clients love Jacob’s speed. Jacob is an inbound marketing-certified webmaster. He earned an integrated communications degree from Florida State College at Jacksonville. Jacob joined Axia PR as an intern in August 2015 and earned his way into a critical role at our PR agency.