Media Pitch Best Practices
Creating a media relations strategy and pitching to your ideal media representatives is a sure-fire way to take your press releases and PR to the next level. Before you start connecting and pitching, it’s a good idea to understand the ins and outs of media pitches. It’s a good idea to know the best practices.
#1 Don’t Pitch on Social Media
– Sure, social media messaging has become commonplace among professionals. However, when pitching to a media representative, even if you follow them on social media, consider emailing them instead. You can, if it’s appropriate, let them know via social media message that you sent them a story idea.
#2 Pitch Via Email or Pick Up the Phone
– While social media messaging or text message isn’t a good idea, pitching via email is. And if you’re a phone person and you know that the media representative accepts phone pitches, then go for it and give them a call.
#3 Make Sure Your Idea is a Good One
– Newsworthy is the key word here. You want to make sure that your story idea is relevant, timely, and valuable to your chosen media representatives. If you’re unsure, run it by a few people before you write your pitch.
#4 Don’t Generalize
– When pitching, make sure to personalize the pitch to the person you’re pitching to. If you’re pitching to Bob and he wrote a similar story last month, make sure to acknowledge the story and talk about why your story idea is different. If you’re pitching to Joy and you know that her audience loves personal interest stories, then make sure you address the personal interest perspective in your own idea.
#5 Be Brief
– When pitching, regardless of the medium, say what you need to say and then be done. There’s no need to be long-winded. In fact, that will turn most media reps off. They want to know what you want and what you have to offer. Tell them the story idea, where they can get more information, and how to contact you. That’s all they want and need initially.
#6 Be Prepared
– There’s nothing more frustrating to a media rep than a person with a decent story idea but no additional information. Be ready to answer questions, provide more information, and to share links to supplemental documents, photos, and data.
#7 Pitch to the Right Person
– Do your homework and make sure you’re pitching to someone who cares, who writes for your industry, and who has a relevant audience.
Pitching to the media requires a strategy, a plan, and a good degree of research and follow through. However, developing relationships with the media through this process can reap tremendous rewards.