With all the buzz generated by the All-Star Game in Kansas City recently, it got me thinking about how we as PR professionals work to get our clients media coverage. Similar to baseball, gaining media presence often involves pitching.
Thanks to one of our clients, I’ve been lucky enough to take part in components of All-Star Game media relations. It’s been an exciting venture, and it’s made me realize a few aspects of earning media coverage today:
Persistence is key. Journalists are extremely busy, especially today when so many media outlets have cut down on staff. The likelihood of reporters seeing your email and getting back to you the first time around is pretty slim. You must follow up to get your pitch out of the dugout. Following up with phone calls and emails, and offering to resend media materials will make sure media receive the information necessary for covering your client’s story.
Get to know the media. After all, you’ll be working with them as long as you stay in the industry. Get to know the types of stories outlets and reporters will cover. In PR, pitching to the wrong party is like hitting a foul ball—it really doesn’t get you anywhere. Also, pay attention to their preferences, such as how they like to be contacted and when. If unsure, these are great questions to ask while pitching.
Be creative. Cut through the clutter by pitching interesting coverage. If your pitching doesn’t seem to be working, try mixing it up. Using a different subject line, changing the opening and emphasizing the story’s exclusive and creative elements are various ways to revamp a pitch.
Personalize. If you spoke with a reporter who asked you to resend a pitch or media materials, add a line in the email about how it was nice speaking with them. With the myriad of emails they receive daily, adding a personal touch when possible might just be enough to seal the deal.
If you really want to hit it out of the ballpark, here are more ways to engage with media and reach target audiences, courtesy of PR Newswire:Angela Schwab, best practices, buzz, Media Relations, Morningstar Communications, PR
Comments are closed.July 12, 2012