Pitching to the media is always better when you’ve done the groundwork so make sure to check out this list before you start cold calling journalists and asking them to cover your story.
The most important thing to remember is that great publicity happens when your story has an angle that works for the media you’re pitching to!
- Start with your story
Do a brainstorming exercise and ask yourself a lot of questions because you will need to think about various angles and opportunities for pitching.
There is no point in approaching media to cover your story if you can’t tell it in a compelling way.
Think about what makes you relatable, human and unique or interesting but also, why is it newsworthy and why now? Make sure you have a good answer to the “so what?” question of what set you apart from other businesses!
Think about where you’d really love to be featured. You know your target audience – which media do they consume? Is a podcast, online news site or a glossy magazine?
A big no-no is pitching content if you haven’t thought about how it would work specifically for that media. There is no point in pitching to TV if you don’t have something great for them to film. You need a really clear picture of how it could be covered before getting in touch.
You also need to research who you need to pitch to within the outlet. Is it a journalist, producer or website editor?
- Make it easy for media to cover your story
You’ll know from your research if your target media prefers to receive a press release or a pitch for something you can offer like a feature idea, opinion piece or guest blog.
If it’s a press release make sure you have a good one and if you’re not confident get some expert help in writing it as it can make a huge difference in helping to tell your story.
Great images can really give you an advantage because it saves time and money – things that are in short supply for many media outlets.
For features type pieces professional images are a must and it’s well worth investing in a great photographer to get media quality shots.
Case studies can work really well for media as the human-interest angle is important so build up a bank.
- Watch your tone!
It’s really important that you understand how the media works. They don’t exist to promote businesses. Their job is to attract audiences with interesting stories and content. So if you want to be featured your job is to pitch great content which you think might interest them.
There are no guarantees in this game but by aiming for persuasive rather than demanding tone you’re likely to get off to a better start!
A short and to the point pitch is always better than one that is wordy and full of jargon. If the outlet is interested they will let you know. If they are, make sure you respond quickly to meet their deadline or the opportunity may have passed.
- Remember that PR is about building long term relationships
A polite follow up is fine but don’t stalk journalists on social media or otherwise as it really irritates them! Know when it’s time to move on to the next outlet if you’ve called and emailed and there’s been no reply.
Sometimes it’s a good pitch but to the wrong person or on the wrong day so don’t take it too personally if you get turned down.
Try to be helpful and offer value and you’ll be remembered for the right reasons and soon you’ll start to build a strong reputation.
If you are a female business owner and you want to know more about pitching you can join my private Facebook group ‘Pitching for Publicity for Female business leaders’