Finally, you’ve done it. You drafted the perfect pitch, free of all fluff and unnecessary information. Your pitch is timely, relevant and the wow-factor is crystal clear. So, now what? After you’ve written the perfect press release and drafted the perfect pitch, is figuring out to whom to pitch your story
Step 1: Get Familiar
Based on the client, content and your target audience, you must decide where the news is most valuable. Are you looking to get TV coverage? Would an article in a magazine be the ideal coverage for your organization? Once your medium is selected, decide which key contacts within the media outlet should receive the pitch.
Step 2: Get Oriented
Contrary to popular belief, anchors and reporters are not the only people to contact when submitting story ideas. Pinpointing appropriate producers, editors and news/assignment directors will also go a long way in attempting to gain coverage. Having trouble identifying these contacts? Find them online through manual research or use an online list building software service. These tools can be a big help in building a relevant media list for your client or story.
Step 3: Research your Contacts
When attempting to identify the perfect pitch contact or outlet, research is a PR professional’s best friend. If you are pitching a story about health, gather contact information for producers and reporters who focus on health topics.
Let’s break it down. You have a back to school story, so pitch it to a producer who has kids and can relate. Reporters and editors are people too, so when you mention that you are familiar with their work, you’ll stand out among the hundreds of generic pitches sent out to reporters and editors every day. Most importantly, research allows you to tailor your pitch based on the content your contact produces.
Step 4: Establish a Relationship
The PR industry is all about relationship building. Make sure to establish lasting connections with everyone you meet. Follow your favorite reporter on Twitter or Facebook and interact with them, that way when you send a pitch to their inbox your name will look familiar. Social media also provides insight as to what topics reporters and producers are interested in.
Step 5: Follow Up
You’ve decided where you want your story and who can help you get it there, but your work is not done. A major part of establishing relationships includes following up. A second email is great but a personalized phone call is even better. A call demonstrates professionalism and gives you, a super communicator, an opportunity to interact one-on-one with the producer and establish a personal connection. Keep in mind that no one can read your personality through an email, so don’t be afraid to pick up the phone.
When pitching your stories and ideas to media outlets, always keep your audience in mind. Go the extra mile to find out what stories they’ve done in the past and check to see if they’ve ever covered your client before. Follow these important steps and your client will make the news in no-time.
How do you perfect your pitch? Let us know by tweeting at us @DEVENEYnola and using the #DEVchat hashtag.