How to be pitch-perfect and get results (Part 2)By Lisa Goldsberry
October 8, 2014
Learn how to use your best commodity to capture media attention
We all know that getting positive press about your company can provide an instant boost to your name recognition and credibility. A lesser-known fact is how to actually get it.
The first thing you must do is to try not to be intimidated by the process. This becomes easier when you realize the basics about your relationship with journalists. You need exposure for your company, and that’s what they can give you. They need high-quality content, and you can provide it. In fact, that’s your best commodity. However, you should understand that you are in competition for media attention with every other company, so you have to make sure your content is packaged correctly to help your company rise above the clutter. PR can show you how.
Types of content that make great pitches:
A distinctive or first-of-its-kind business model
A product being introduced to a new market
Interesting characters or public figures – for example, your CEO can discuss how she leads and what drives the company’s vision
A pitch with a great community angle
A discussion of your company’s fascinating history or story, especially if you’ve been around for a while
Corporate social responsibility efforts
Entrepreneurs doing something exciting or revolutionary
Stories where someone learned a personal lesson
Stories that will elicit emotion from readers or viewers
Ideas that make life or business easier for consumers
How to find your company’s perfect pitch
Right now, some of you may be thinking that you don’t have anything close to the type of stories listed above. That doesn’t mean you’re out of luck, it just means you have to look harder. There are tactics you can employ to find the kind of pitches that will catch a journalist’s eye.
Reexamine the origins of your company. Do a little research if necessary to discover what was happening in the country or your area at the time your company was founded and what made your founder or CEO passionate enough to start a company. Was it a problem that needed solving? Was there a niche that wasn’t being fulfilled by anyone else? You can also find more exciting ways to tell your story. These are the types of facts you can highlight to garner attention.
Go back through past blog posts or internal publications to see if you can breathe new life into an old story. Perhaps there’s a different spin you can use, or maybe it now fits in with an upcoming trend when it didn’t before. If it hasn’t been reported on in more than a year, it’s worth another shot.
Look at opportunities you may have previously dismissed. For example, maybe you passed on a chance to sponsor a community group or speak at an event. These can be terrific ways to attract positive media attention.
Mistakes that can derail your pitch:
Sending information in a mass email addressed to no one in particular
Vague or ineffective headlines
Faking familiarity with the journalist – for example, making your email subject line, “Hey, John/Jane, let’s talk”
In many cases, journalists are quick to ignore pitches if they don’t come from a recognized source. This is where PR pros can be most valuable because they already have the connections and relationships with reporters and producers.
The best way to develop successful pitches is to let Axia do the work for you. We utilize these tactics and more to help your company catch the media’s attention and build lasting relationships with journalists. Download our e-book Learn Media Relations from the Media or contact us today to find out how we can generate positive news coverage that brings increased recognition and profitable exposure to your company.
Lisa Goldsberry is a writer for Axia Public Relations with more than 15 years of public relations experience. She specializes in business, higher education and technology PR. Connect with Axia Public Relations on Twitter @axiapr.
Featured image credit: BigStockPhotos.com
Topics: media relations, public relations
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