How to Perfect Your Media Pitch
The media can be a valuable tool in your personal branding campaign, but reaching the right newspaper, magazine, television, radio, and online outlets takes a certain finesse.
After all, public relations firms wouldn’t be able to command huge retainers if the process were simple, now would they?
Here are five ways to perfect your media pitch and give yourself a much better chance of success:
1. Target media outlets that your clients read.
If your clients hail mainly from information technology firms, for example, then they’re probably perusing websites like TechCrunch and magazines like InformationWeek. Shoot for those outlets that will give you the biggest bang for your buck.
2. Analyze the media outlets you’re targeting.
This simple exercise will go a long way in helping you craft your media pitch.
Sending press releases about a new medical breakthrough to a trade magazine aimed at welders is a waste of time. Study the outlets first, learn about their audiences, and use that information to figure out which ones are worth your time and effort.
3. Always go in with a news hook.
Even publications that don’t seem “newsy” love to break the news. Keep this in mind as you craft your media pitch, which should always include some type of news hook to be most effective.
A news hook is simply a way of tying your story to something timely and relevant in current events or trends. If your new product solves a problem that consumers have been grappling with for decades, or if your service relates specifically to a hot-off-the-press health report, don’t be afraid to make that point the main feature of your media pitch.
4. Create an impressive headline.
“Back Pain Medications Help People Live Longer” or “New Report Investigates Effectiveness of Back Pain Medications”—which one would you read?
One great headline can make the difference between an editor reading your pitch and deleting it. Come up with a compelling headline that lures the recipient in to the body of your pitch, and the battle will be half won.
5. Keep it short.
No one has time to read long media pitches these days. In fact, most editors and journalists will stop reading after the headline.
Stick to just a few short paragraphs that summarize your story and how readers will benefit from reading it. Follow up emails should also be brief.
These five important rules will boost your odds of finding a receptive audience for your media pitch.
What kind of pitching strategies have you used to capture media attention?