Whether you’re hosting an event or want to tell the world you’ve invented the next best thing since sliced bread, blindly forwarding information to the media en masse will likely get your message tossed in the recycle bin. Targeting appropriate members directly with an effective and well thought out approach can make all the difference in the world and really grab their attention.
- First things first – be prepared! Without clear concise talking points and a designated spokesperson, you may risk great opportunities if the media reaches out for an interview and you seem unprofessional or unreliable. The point of pitching the media is to get an interview. The more prepping you do now, the easier the entire process will be later. Reporters love to work with sources they come to know as reliable and easy to work with. Great sources understand what the reporter is looking for in a story and what value the information brings to the intended audience.
- Find the story for them. Media outlets, reporters and influencers receive outrageous amounts of emails every day. They won’t take the time to dig through tons of information to decipher what your story is about and if it would benefit their subscribers or viewers. Also, this is not a sales pitch. Be helpful in your approach and try to have a unique angle. Know what you’re trying to achieve by getting coverage and focus on how to package it in a way that provides value to the audience.
- Understand the audience. Only by understanding exactly who you are trying to reach can you determine appropriate reporters, publications, TV stations, influencers or other media that would be a match for those target demographics. Understanding your audience also helps you craft an appropriate and impactful message that truly speaks to them.
- Develop a few key messages. Simply answering questions during an interview will get the reporter what they need; but you want these two or three key points to explain what makes the story newsworthy while also achieving your personal or business objective for getting the coverage. Make it action oriented and state what you want them to do. Be conversational. Don’t use industry jargon or technical terms; speak to your audience in a way they will understand. Keep it short and sweet. Remember, the media loves soundbites – memorable bits of information summed up in concise, catchy phrases.
- Use examples. Use national stories that support your pitch. It lets them know upfront that the story is newsworthy, timely and relevant, and helps grab their attention. Be sure to state the direct correlation between national stories and your objective and how it all relates to the audience you are both trying to reach. Add statistics, interesting facts, and a human touch people can relate to that really drives the story home. And use links rather than attachments.
- Snappy subject lines. Their inboxes are jammed with emails competing for attention, so it’s critical yours stands out. Know your story well enough to sum it up in a catchy subject line (think in soundbites) and it’s more likely to get opened. Include a few compelling details, a teaser, a great stat, or offer an exclusive if you can honestly do so. Reporters and influencers love to be the first to offer a great story.
Hire CONRIC pr + marketing. Let our experience and connections work for you! We welcome the opportunity to provide professional public relations and marketing services to elevate your brand to achieve your company’s goals. Let us serve as your virtual back-office public relations and marketing team to provide you with creative writers, media specialists and brand strategists who can help to tell your story in a compelling way and position you for success as a market leader in your industry.