As PR professionals, we are adept at pitching media, and we’ve learned how to 1) tailor our messages based on the type of outlet (print, digital or broadcast) and 2) target journalists based on their respective beats.
However, when the subject matter being discussed is very specific, more extensive research is required in order to successfully land a premier placement. If you’re pitching a local restaurant, then you’ll obviously hit up the local restaurant critics and television morning show producers. But if you’re pitching an award-winning, handcrafted, pot-distilled rum that’s undergoing a major nationwide expansion (ahem, Bayou Rum), then you need to think bigger and take a deep dive into the spirits world. The same approach applies if you’re pitching an international contemporary art festival, a growing travel destination or the industry leader in water desalination technology (yes, that’s a thing).
Below are three tips to help you land that crucial coverage and garner millions of media impressions for your specialty clients.
1. Supplement your top tier media list with smaller print and digital publications that cater to niche audiences.
The ever-changing media landscape means that we’re continuing to see major publications, especially in the newspaper world, fold or reduce their staff size. Meanwhile, there are droves of burgeoning outlets for you to target. Many of these smaller publications cater to niche groups, offering a great way for you tap directly into your client’s audience while securing those much-needed impressions.
2. Don’t expect immediate coverage. Instead, focus on building personal long-term
relationships with reporters.
We all want to see our specialty clients featured on a regular basis, but the fact of the matter is that they don’t always fit into an outlet’s planned, upcoming content. Instead of mass-pitching countless reporters with insincere greetings and a bombardment of follow-up emails, try focusing on a few key writers who frequently cover your subject matter. Do your research to see what they’re interested in, where they like to travel and what they do in their spare time. This will help you craft a better pitch and create a lasting dialogue. Offer your client as a resource, send samples, and let them know you’re there to help. Before you know it, they’ll be reaching out to you as opportunities arise.
3. Prove your value as a resource by offering more than one angle.
Editorial calendars are an essential component of our job, but think beyond the basic. When offering up your client as a resource for a story, include some fresh, unique ideas that offer a variety of topics for media. When media know that they can depend on you for the “tried and true” as well as the unexpected, it makes them more likely to reach out to you for the unplanned, one-off opportunities that so often arise.
Are you successfully pitching specialty subjects and consistently landing quality coverage? Tweet us @DEVENEYnola using the #DEVchat hashtag.