Know the best way to connect with reporters
Pitching to the media can be difficult, especially if your PR and marketing departments aren’t used to reaching out and connecting with the media on you and your company’s behalf. It can be intimidating, but it doesn’t have to be. That’s why we created the 21 mistakes you’re making when you pitch the news media – to help your team feel more comfortable and confident as they reach out to journalists.
One mistake we often hear from companies is their teams are sending more than one email to a single outlet. This is number 12 in our list of 21 mistakes. There is a right way and a wrong way to do this.
Sending individual emails to each person in a department
Sending individual emails to individuals in multiple departments at the same outlet (e.g. the business and features contacts)
If more than one reporter from the same outlet is working on the same story, the reporters may not want to work with you again. It takes time and resources to research a story, and to find out a colleague is working on the same story can be frustrating.
If you’re contacting multiple people at the same outlet, then include them all in the “To” field and acknowledge them in the salutation. This ensures that multiple people don’t work on the same story within a news organization.
If you aren’t sure who would be the best contact, send an initial email to an established media contact at the outlet asking who would be the best contact for your story. If you don’t have an established relationship, then email two reporters in the same email asking who is the best contact. Include a small teaser about the story. This allows the reporters to discuss internally and get back to you if one of them will take it or if they recommend someone else takes it.
Be sure to do your research beforehand to make sure you are reaching out to the correct contact(s). You don’t want to reach out to a sports reporter with a business story.
Follow the best methods for pitching and connecting with the media to earn media coverage for your brand. You need to stay on the “good” side of a reporter and an outlet. Too many faux pas can reflect poorly on you and your company, even if you’re not the one doing the media outreach. Ensure your PR firm — and even your internal team — aren’t making this mistake.
We have a team of experts here to help you achieve success. If you’d like to speak with a PR expert, reach out to Axia Public Relations at firstname.lastname@example.org, and we can chat about how best to assist you and your company in pitching and earning media coverage. To learn more about how to build relationships with the media, download Axia’s e-book “Learn Media Relations from the Media” today.
Clients love Marjorie’s work ethic, speed and diligence. She has worked with Axia Public Relations since October 2011. Marjorie graduated from Rockhurst University with a Bachelor of Arts in communication and loves to cheer for her hometown Kansas City Royals. Learn more about Marjorie.