How to Become a Master PR Professional: Tips you Need to Pitch a Story

Oct 24, 2018 | Public Relations

Whether you are a public relations professional or just trying to get the word out about your business or organization, you need to get your information to the masses and in the hands of your audiences. You need a strategy.

Getting your story to a media outlet is the best way to spread your information and gain credibility, but how do you convince a media contact that this pitch is worth taking? Follow these tips to ensure your pitch will get chosen.

Do your research before you pitch

Before you pitch your story to every media outlet you can find, consider the target audience. Knowing how your target audience consumes their information will help narrow down the sources you should pitch to. If your pitch is closely relevant to the audience of a media publication, it is more likely to be selected.

In addition to knowing where your audience is, it is also important to research the publications you would like to pitch to. Doing this will help you identify reporters who have covered similar topics to yours, or specialty publications that reach your target audience. If your contact has spoken to similar topics, they will more easily connect with your material.

Take the time to find out what he or she is writing about, reading about and talking about by following them on their professional social media accounts. There are several effective ways to glean information from reporters and smart, authentic ways to establish relationships with them outside of email.

Don’t be generic with your pitch

Media contacts receive countless pitches every day. Your pitch needs to stand above the rest in order to be chosen. There are many ways to customize your pitch – starting with the subject line. Use wording that explains the content of your idea in a way that will be clear, concise and meaningful to the reader. The subject line is incredibly important; if it doesn’t speak to your pitch in a useful way, you risk your communication sitting unread – or worse, deleted.

If you can persuade the media contact to open your message, make sure they see something tailored to them. For example, don’t send a mass email to every contact you are pitching simultaneously. Instead, take an extra few minutes to send a personalized email to the sources you are reaching out to. Use their name in the greeting and include information that shows you are familiar with their outlet and type of publication they represent.

Show the value of your pitch

As the pitcher, you are close to the source, be it a client or your own business or organization you are promoting. You understand the importance of the pitch you are offering, but it is important to show the media contact what it means for them. Rather than letting the content speak for itself, offer some information on how publishing this story is going to benefit the news outlet. One way to do this is to connect to a current trend, or similar topic covered by that outlet.

Contributed content can help you kill two birds with one PR stone. By offering to write a piece of contributed content for a magazine, newspaper or publication, you’re not only getting your message out into the world, but you’re also forming that essential relationship with the reporter and publication by easing their workload significantly.

Follow up on every pitch

Have you done everything above and still not received a response about your pitch? Make sure you follow up with the recipient. As mentioned earlier, media contacts are receiving a multitude of similar communications daily, and it’s easy for yours to get lost in the shuffle.

By touching base after the initial pitch, you may increase the chance yours is selected, as well as strengthen the relationship you are creating with your contact. Don’t feel tied to following up strictly through email. Once the relationship has been established, don’t be afraid to pick up the phone.

We can help!

Enlisting the help of public relations experts is a great way to get your message out there. Contact us now to see how we can help you be heard.