Tuesday, December 8, 2015

How to Pitch the Media

As a publicist and owner of Batson Group Marketing and PR for 25+ years, I offer consultation and implementation services for business owners, authors and artists to help them be well known, well thought of and well-remembered.  @EBatson FB  LI

Successful media outreach is both an art and a skill. While some people seem to be"naturals" at pitching an idea or news story, the reality is - it takes work.

With the advent of technology, the “media” has grown to include a wide variety of channels and with this growth the definition media representative has changed. We’re now no longer limited to newspaper reporters and journalists, television and radio news programs. Now we have social media influencers, industry bloggers, podcasters and many other resources available to pitch.

The tips below offer a few key actions that will set up your pitch campaign for greater success.
1. Know what you want to achieve by identifying your goals. Use the objectives of your business, sales and marketing goals to determine what you can reasonably accomplish through media outreach - drive traffic to your website, increase  engagement on social media, build brand awareness.
2. Know before you go. Determine who you want to pitch and why.Your pitch needs to be created for a specific person.  The more you know about them - what they write about, where their material is published and how they they want to be communicated with are some of the answers you need to know.
3. Be Pitch Perfect. Make sure you let them know why you are pitching them - what you are pitching and what they and their readers/followers have to gain from what you have to offer. Keep it short, simple,grammatically correct and to the point. Apply the tenet "be a professional."
4. Be Prepared. This motto is not just for scouting. Make sure that you’re prepared for the media to come calling. That means a professional website with a tab the media can click on that houses print and web-ready photos and images, videos, tip sheets, biographical material, story ideas and contact info. Don't make the media rep search for what they need.
5. Follow up. If you say that you’re going to follow up with them in a week,do. Keep in mind it can take a few tries before what you are pitching bites. 
6. Be patient - it's a process. Make these actions part of your media outreach system and you’ll get the results you’re seeking.

Q. How do I find the right person to pitch to?
A. Time to be a detective.
While you can always pay to play, not all lists are current. But FREE (or as my friend social media expert Alice Fuller of Sheer Social says Free99) is an option.

1. Find the editor who oversees your story’s beat or a senior, deputy, or associate editor.
2. Pick up the phone! A quick call can get results.
3. Ask your contacts who they know.
4. Read the masthead of the publication.
5. Use Twitter’s search tool.Type in the word “editor” plus @ handle of the publication e.g. 
6. Do a Google search.
7. Search on LinkedIn, Facebook, G+ and other social media platforms.
8. Read the blog or publication you want to appear in for stories that are a match for you. 

Happy Hunting!

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