Tips on pitching to the media
Regardless of the position in which your business is, you should be considering public relations and digital marketing to further your reach. Be mindful, however, that there is such think as PR done right and conversely, PR done wrong. Here are some tips to follow when pitching to the media:
Personalize, personalize, personalize
The last thing a journalist wants to find in their mailbox is an auto-generated email that’s being sent to every other person on your list. Place priority on those with whom you have a solid working relationship so they get the first look. Also make sure to use reputable, reliable online programmes to send out your release to prevent technical errors.
Back up your claims by referencing secondary data
For example, if you claim to be a leader in “X”, show the reader some kind of proof from a third-party source.
Don’t send your press release to anyone and everyone
It’s really important to refine your distribution list to those who will be truly interested in your content. Online saturation will dilute your content in and amongst search engine results.
Give publishers enough lead time
Don’t wait ‘til the last minute to pitch – journalists are busy people. Giving advanced notice means they will make time to get to your content. You could also consider giving a special preview of the information by giving them details ahead of time, but saying it can only be published on a particular date.
Only put out information that’s important and relevant
Including too much wishy-washy info in your release will make your reader lose interest and you won’t receive any coverage.
Don’t include other publications’ coverage of your content
Trust us, the journalist will not be impressed by hearing that another publication picked up on your release before they did.
Don’t pitch to publishers’ public profile
LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook or any other social media platforms are out of bounds when it comes to pitching. Use direct, personalized email techniques to get their attention.
Share the coverage you receive
If a journalist publishes your content, it would be beneficial to both yourself and the publisher to get the word out about the article. Post the link to your website and share it to your blog and social media accounts for larger reach.
Don’t be too picky when it comes to making corrections
If it’s something like the misspelling of your CEO’s last name in an article, you should definitely contact the writer. If, however, has something to do with the style of the article or is a small typo, you might want to consider leaving it. Writers will be more likely to build relationships with PR agencies that are easy to work with.
Keep it simple
Don’t jazz up your press release so that it seems longer. Rather use non-complex language and simply state the facts. You’ll make the writer’s life a whole lot easier.
Take into consideration the timing of your pitch
Journalists work full-time jobs and are extremely busy. Do keep in mind the time of the year and their schedules. For example, around the holidays journalists’ inboxes will be flooded about Thanksgiving and Christmas-related content so don’t send yours through last minute and expect a features. Once again, give enough lead time to receive quality coverage.