What makes a good pitch to the media? Follow this guide and make your story stick!
Pitches are a vital part of PR, yet doing them well is something that many professionals can’t quite grasp. Pitching is one of the best ways to secure top media placement for your client, so knowing the ins and outs of pitching is fundamental. Here are some tips to make your next pitch to the media (and beyond) successful:
Do your homework.
Before you can make a winning pitch, you need to know what you’re up against. Don’t waste your time and your editor’s time by pitching irrelevant stories. Research the media outlet and your media contact to learn about their writing style, niche or audience.
Tailor, tailor, tailor!
No two media outlets are the same, so why use the same pitch twice? Instead of blasting the same, boring message to every media outlet you can think of, tailor your pitch to target that specific publication’s niche audience and target market.
Keep it short and simple.
Get rid of the fluff and get on to the meat. Most editors and journalists don’t have all day to sit down and read pitch after pitch, and lengthy story after lengthy story, so make sure you keep it short and sweet. Make them tick within the first few sentences, and attach more details in a press release or at a later date.
Remember a pitch is NOT a press release.
A press release is a set of facts. A pitch is taking those facts and giving them life, making them valuable. You are expected to create the story. Sending out a press release and awaiting a media outlet to piece together the story will not be successful. Be creative with your pitch writing and use picture collages if possible! Taking the time to craft an interesting story will save the editor time and make them more willing to accept your pitch.
Create mystery or suspense.
Use an enticing subject line in an email, start your presentation with a joke, or make unique opening statements or questions. Give them something more than a generic title, but don’t give it all away. Save some information for a further meeting and keep them wondering. This will ensure that your first communication cannot be your last for that specific pitch.
But, what about the new world of pitching to bloggers, you say? No worries, we’ve got you covered on that end, too!
Help drive traffic.
More clicks means more money for the blogger, and more traffic to your article means more success for you and your client. Add photos, videos, links to external websites or other multimedia pieces that will increase traffic to the blog. Driving traffic will also help foster your relationships with bloggers and they will anticipate that your future pitches will mean success for both parties.
Offer exclusive content.
Bloggers appreciate originality and love being at the forefront of new things, so offer them some type of exclusive content that hasn’t been shared with the rest of the world and they may be more receptive. And why not throw some samples in there while you’re at it? Bloggers love the goods!
Be an active subscriber to their blog!
Make sure you are a longtime subscriber of a blog before you attempt to pitch to a blogger. Follow and comment on the blog for at least a few weeks or months in order to understand what they write about and what their niche audience is. This will enable you to tailor your pitch to their writing style and motivations.
Streamline your content.
Bloggers and new media users are most apt to read short lists or “how-to” and “get the look” type articles over full-fledged 1,200-word articles that require scrolling and squinting. Streamline your pitch into a Top 10 list or block it into sections with bold titles. This makes it faster for online readers, and saves a blogger time by not having to do it themselves.