Traditional Pitching Principles Still Important Today
The ever-evolving media market can change daily. Turnover can be vast and happen so quickly that even great media-focused websites like Vocus and Cision aren’t able to keep up. While the PR tools of today, including social media, email and media list-building websites can be helpful, it’s important to remember the basics.
Know the reporter’s beat
I learned early on in my PR career the power of due diligence when creating media lists. Coming to Castle from a smaller agency, we didn’t have the budget for online tools and, therefore, had to conduct our own research. Becoming familiar with the targeted publication/media outlet is a great start. From there, you can narrow down your focus to articles/reporters that cover the topic you’re currently pitching.
Target the pitch
Reporters receive hundreds of pitches a week; therefore, tailoring your pitch to make it appealing to their specific audience and following-up when they’re not on deadline is vital. If a reporter makes their phone number available, call them. Although they might not be interested in the pitch, this can be a great opportunity to receive first-hand knowledge on what they’re currently working on for future pitches.
Build a relationship
It’s important to keep in mind that the relationship you will build with these reporters should be mutually beneficial. Placing a story shouldn’t feel like a ‘win,’ but rather the first step in becoming a trusted source for timely content and expert commentary.
Although it takes time, researching the right media contact, creating targeted lists, tailoring a pitch to fit the journalist’s audience and building relationships will prove to be much more successful in the long run.