Business pitching may seem like a daunting task if you’ve never tried before. Instead of freaking out and running the opposite direction, take a breath, relax and remember: you don’t have to be the Beyoncé of franchise PR to excel in pitching business stories to a journalist.
There are more than one paths to success, and as someone who honestly had no idea what she was doing when she first started, there were a few tricks that I learned along the way to help me land placements in A-list publications such as The New York Times, Inc, and Fast Company.
Tip #1: Be The Business
Before you even begin writing a pitch, it’s essential to live and breathe your client’s industry. You need to know the relevant trends and be up to date on news that directly impacts your client’s business. Have a thorough conversation with your client about whether or not they would be comfortable speaking on certain topics. For example, some clients may run away from a story increases to the minimum wage, but others may jump at the opportunity, as they see value in adding themselves to the conversation.
Tip #2: Numbers Are Your Friend
Since business reporters rely heavily on numbers, it’s always good to have some type of monetary value or statistic that supports whatever point you are trying to get across. If your client is uncomfortable with discussing revenue numbers, include a percentage that illustrates growth in their industry.
Tip #3: Think Outside The Box
If there isn’t something newsworthy happening with your client, sometimes you have to come up with an angle that’s completely out of the blue. Luckily, working at a public relations agency conditions you to be aware of pop culture trends that you might not think would even be relevant to your client, but after a few minute or two of deep thinking, can actually turn into a great pitch angle. This tip especially rings true for thought leadership roundups from CEOs. Is Walking Dead back on? Create a pitch about the business lessons entrepreneurs can learn from the season premier.
Tip #4: Tell A Story In Less Than Three Paragraphs
Precision is key. You want your contact to have enough information to spark a story without sending them a five paragraph essay. Leave the flowery language to consumer pitching; business pitching is all about telling a story with facts and numbers rather than the jargon you picked up during your college economics class.
At the end of the day, you don’t have to hold a masters degree in business management to succeed in business pitching. All it takes is little bit of passion mixed with creativity to really come up with a stellar pitch worthy of an A-List press hit. If you work at a PR agency, you probably already have these two things anyway, so get to it!!