The Do’s and Don’ts of Media Pitching
Two of our BIG YAM staffers recently attended the Society of Professional Journalists Valley Publicity Summit, where they learned that you really can put public relations professionals and media folks in the same room without any blood being shed. (We know — shocking!) Our staffers also received valuable media pitching tips from a panel of local media influencers. Here are the insights they found the most impactful.
Mychael Ramirez, BIG YAM PR Coordinator
“Make your pitch a one-stop shop. Don’t waste the publication or reporter’s time by making them hunt for assets. In your pitch, supply them with as much of the crucial information and details as possible. Now, I’m not saying spam them with a novel-sized email, but try keeping your pitch as short and as info-rich as possible to save whomever you’re pitching from having to go hunt for the goods. Chances are they won’t want to open your attachment to read a release; instead, include the press release at the bottom of your pitch. Add links to a Dropbox for pre-approved, hi-res images that are ready for use. While on the topic of links, utilize sites like Bitly to shorten long URLs into minified links. Your window of opportunity to grab and hold onto a media member’s focus is limited, so you’ll want to make the most of it while you have it.”
Chelsea Warren, BIG YAM Social Media Specialist
“The most important thing I kept hearing over and over again was ‘do your homework — know the reporter, know their beat, know the publication. So many times as PR professionals, we find this great story and feel so rushed to get that story out to the media that we push it out without making sure we’re sending it to the right people in the right way. This wastes our time, the media’s time and our clients’ time. You can avoid this problem by doing your homework. This means relationship building and researching media outlets that relate to your clients in advance. It’s a lot of work, but I’ve found it makes you much more efficient in the long run.”
A few other nuggets of media pitching wisdom we learned (or relearned) at the event:
- Don’t Over Pitch: If they don’t get back to you, maybe follow up with one phone call. If you overpitch, they might not respond to you in the future.
- Consider the Trends:Always ask yourself how your clients fit into trends that are already newsworthy.
- Get to the Point: Instead of writing “attention media” as the subject line of your email, start pitching your story instead. Give them the 5 W’s and the H in the subject line and in the beginning of your pitch so they can decide if they want to read beyond the first few lines.
- Look for the Human Element:Don’t give reporters stats — give them people who readers and viewers will care about.
Are you ready to tell your business’ story in the local and national news? Hit us up!