When pitch fatigue is imminent, try these tips to reboot
Anyone that has worked in public relations knows well that pitching the media is an acquired skill. Whether it’s for an automobile or printer or service such as a virtual front office, designing a pitch that internally compels you is a necessary first step – because if you love it, your genuine interest will serve to engage others.
What happens, though, when you are faced with a pitch that you just don’t love? That incredibly uncomfortable moment when you are being asked to contact the media about a microcosmic update or lackluster piece of news?
Should you work in PR long enough, this situation will happen at one point, and rather than become completely paralyzed, follow these steps to go from disillusioned to enchanted:
- Know well what you need to pitch. First, never contact the media without preparation, as this is a recipe for disaster. Instead, take the time you need to completely understand the product/service you are pitching, what makes it unique, the problem it solves and even a future roadmap. Within all that preparation will fall interesting nuggets that help a story emerge, and that is the story you’ll want to pitch – not the specific news on which your client may be laser-focused.
- Gain a bird’s eye view. In lieu of pitching a generic news release, use your creative communications skills to instead wrap a perfect story. Too often, PR pros lose opportunistic placements because they become so focused on earning those placements that they forget perspective. While some news seems like a slam dunk, other bits require much more massaging to ensure the best story emerges. Consider your pitch from a bird’s eye view and focus on the problem(s) it solves. Contemplate its value proposition to various audiences and how it will impact each of them as a whole and individually. Perspective and creativity are invaluable tools.
- Color outside the lines. In this evolving digital era, a standard media pitch can take several forms, such as a viral video or meme. When faced with a pitch you may not initially adore, consider pitching it in a different fashion. Perhaps you can turn your pitch into a hilarious meme? What about creating a brief video to showcase the merits of the product/service? Just shifting gears away from a phone or email pitch could open up new ideas and, in turn, build more personal interest. The focus will no longer be on the story placement, but perhaps how much interest your pitch can generate.
Falling madly in love with every single pitch may not be possible, however, remember that the most welcome pitches help reporters to efficiently deliver eye-catching stories. As professional communicators (writers, speakers and social media mavens), PR pros can make pitching more palatable using the tips above to develop pitches they themselves would love to receive. Axia Public Relations can help you craft creative and exemplary pitches. Download Axia’s e-book Learn Media Relations From the Media to learn more ways to generate interest in your company and brand.
Wendy Bulawa Agudelo has nearly 20 years of experience in technology, business, consumer and nonprofit public relations. She serves on the Massachusetts Down Syndrome Congress PR Task Force and is a culinary enthusiast and champion for the special needs community. Wendy has worked for Axia Public Relations since September 2014. Learn more about Wendy Bulawa Agudelo. Connect with Axia on Twitter @axiapr or tell us what you think in the comments below.
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