Media pitching is one of the best ways to entice journalists to tell your business’ story.
Media pitches offer a brief and compelling explanation of a particular issue, news angle or exclusive story and put forward a representative from your business to be interviewed on the topic.
A media pitch effectively sells a story idea to the journalist.
Media pitches are often in the form of an email, though can be pitched over the phone as well.
Journalists can receive hundreds of media pitches a day. It is critical that you take the time and care to craft a media pitch which is engaging and relevant to the journalist and publication. This will increase the chance of your pitch landing.
The following golden rules will help you craft a great pitch and improve your chances of securing an interview with a relevant publication.
Target a specific audience
It is important to define your target audience and look into publications that best cater to this group. Your pitch should then be tailored to the publication you want to send it to. Consider what your target audience are interested in and adapt your pitch accordingly.
Understand your business
To craft a great pitch you have to have an in depth understanding of your business and what makes it interesting to your target audience and to the journalist. It is important to become an expert on the subject matter you are pitching in order to inform the content of your pitches, but also so you can answer questions from journalists on the spot.
Do your research
Research is one of the most important tools to use when creating and sending out media pitches. It is important that you conduct research into publications including the format, target audience, frequency and readership.
You should also research specific journalists, what they write about and their reporting styles. Read the journalist’s articles and check out their social media channels. Sending a generic pitch will not be appealing to a journalist, it must be targeted.
Pitch newsworthy information
Before sending your pitch, ensure that you have a unique, relevant and newsworthy angle. It is important to make your media pitch about a story angle or idea, rather than simply sharing information about your company. Stay on top of what’s happening in your industry and the industries you are trying to target, as often this can lead to new and interesting story ideas.
If you are unsure of what angle is most interesting or relevant, the following ideas can be tailored to suit any business:
- Business milestones, i.e. anniversaries
- Evergreen stories, such as Christmas, New Year’s Day or Mother’s Day.
- Award wins
- Human interest – which could include looking at the stories behind your business.
Be concise and engaging
All pitches should be clear, concise and succinct and shouldn’t be longer than three to four paragraphs. It is important to remember that busy people won’t read a long email, so the first paragraph should clearly outline your main ideas.
If you are sending your pitch over email, it is also important to consider your email’s subject line. Many journalists won’t read past the subject line if they don’t think it is interesting or relevant to their publication. If you fail to catch their attention your pitch is likely to be left unread.
Develop relationships with journalists
Journalists ultimately hold the keys to your business’ media coverage. In order to cut through the noise and land a pitch with a journalist, you need to successfully pitch an interesting and relevant story angle as well as build rapport with that journalist.
Journalists receive hundreds of emails a day, and don’t have time to look at every email, however if you have been in previous contact, they are more likely to open emails from you. Always be accommodating, responsive and helpful to help build rapport and familiarity.
It is important when pitching to appear friendly but formal. Always use the journalist’s name, and make sure it is spelt correctly.
Don’t hold on to your good information and wait for another opportunity before you pitch it. Tell a journalist straight away and they will either use your information, or keep it in mind for the future. They will grateful that you are keeping them across key information as it arises.
By following these guidelines and taking care when crafting media pitches, you will put your business in the best possible position to get coverage in the media.
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Sydney Public Relations Agency, CP Communications provides specialist media, traditional and online PR strategies that get amazing results. Contact us today. For more great tips visit our website www.cpcommunications.com.au.