Pitching is one of the tasks PRs get most stressed out about. We know this, because from the hundreds of PRs and comms specialists we’ve trained over the years, this is the number one issue they bring up. How to best approach a journo, how to get their interest, whether to call or email them, how to not annoy them…the list goes on and on!
We tackle pitching in detail as part of our Ultimate PR Training Day, but here’s a simple taster of how to get yourself properly prepped before you hit that send key (or pick up that phone).
- Think about the offer
Have a clear idea what you’re trying to sell in before you approach a journalist. ‘Some coverage for our client’ isn’t good enough. A pitch needs to have a honed, targeted angle – is it a news piece? An interview? An invite to an event? Have a really specific goal in mind of what success will look like, and work backwards from there.
- Take it to the right place
Pitching well is all about taking time to get to know the media outlet and what they cover. A really brilliant pitch is something you’ve curated specifically for them, and is something they are likely to write about.
All too often, PRs just pitch blindly in the hope that someone will take it up. When I worked at Good Housekeeping magazine, PRs would constantly pitch stuff for our ‘party pages’. We didn’t HAVE any party pages and – guess what? We didn’t create some just because a PR sent some random pics over.
- Make sure it’s unique
Pitching isn’t the same as sending out a press release to your hundreds of contacts – it should be a unique offering you’re NOT taking elsewhere. Most media outlets will be more interested in an exclusive pitch, so if you can create something you’re not taking elsewhere, it can be more of a hook.
- Check your details
Are your contact details right? Are you sure? It doesn’t take much more than a quick Google these days to ensure you’ve got the right person on the right title – and it pays off. It doesn’t come across well when a PR pitches with the wrong contact name (or the name of the person who used work there). And don’t ever, ever think of sending a pitch with the salutation ‘Dear Sir/Madam’ – you may as well delete it right then and there…
Our Ultimate PR Training Day will show you how to go about pitching in the right way, when and how, as well as so much more. Book onto our next course on October 4th here.