5 Ways to Create Dazzling Pitches
Pitching the media can always be an intimidating experience but has become very important in the PR world. Without proposing story ideas, most journalists would be unaware of the awesome things our clients are doing to propel their business forward. This week at Konnect we had the opportunity to participate in a variety of workshops targeted to polish a multiplicity of skills from press release writing to understanding SEO. PR pro Michael Smart visited the office on Tuesday to enhance our pitching abilities in order to land those big stories and build better relationships with the media. Follow these five tips from Michael Smart to dazzle writers and you too can become a pitching wiz!
1. “It’s Not About YOU…It’s about THEM”
This is one of Michael Smart’s phrases that really resonated with me. When working in PR, we always believe our client is number one and our most notable goal is to ultimately get the media to incorporate them in their publications and/or broadcasts. Moving forward, position your emails as if you are just “showing up” in their inbox verses forcing yourself there and convincing them to do something. Ask yourself: “How would a PR pro have to show up to be of interest to me?” Make it seem as if you’re solving an issue they’re dealing with, like tight deadlines, getting sources quickly, irrelevant info, etc.
It’s always best to understand the writer you’re reaching out to. Do some research and learn what they love to write about and the genre they cover. Journalists are more likely to respond if you have already identified their passion points and incorporate that in your pitch. Also, you’ll receive a better response if you’re targeting writers that are within the topic that you’re pitching otherwise they’ll just disregard your idea completely
3. Contact info
Struggling to find a specific writer’s contact info? Try websites like www.emailhunter.co or www.email-format.com to hunt down emails for journalists when you’re incapable of finding it on CisionPoint or if it isn’t readily available on their publication’s website. It shows you put in the effort to go above and beyond to contact them and that you’re serious about collaborating with them on behalf of your client.
4. Build relationships with the media
Pitching is more than just landing a story. It’s about cultivating relationships with journalists to in turn create mutual benefits. Stories are essential for writers and publicists need to generate buzz about their client. It’s a win-win! If you’re friendly with the media, they’re more likely to approach you when searching for story ideas and it’s more probable that they’ll take your ideas more seriously. Instead of taking it personal when writers don’t respond to your pitches, get personal with them first to establish a professional relationship.
5. Tenacity conquers all
Pitching is a true talent when performed correctly. Although your pitches might not always garner responses, it’s important to mentally become relentless. Follow ups are just as essential as sending initial emails, even if it requires persistent messages. Never, ever give up!
It’s time to integrate these crucial tips and tricks to elevate your pitching efforts! We hope that what we’ve gathered from Michael Smart can be of some benefit to you and your media relations endeavors. Go out there and become a PR maven!