In the past, I’ve said that you need to make sure every news announcement you make passes the “Who cares?” test. If nobody cares about what you’re saying, there’s really no point in issuing a press release. You’ll just be wasting everyone’s time, and your press release will never get you any positive attention.
Today, I want to take this idea a step further. See, when you’re pitching a busy reporter or blogger, having news that their readers will care about is only part of the battle. Unfortunately, having a pitch that passes the “Who cares?” test might not always be enough. For your pitch to be truly effective, you need to appeal to the reporter’s self-interest.
Let me explain. The average reporter is incredibly busy. They have publishing quotas that need to be met, and in order to be successful, they also need to produce stories that readers care about and that get traffic.
That’s why you need to look at things from their perspective. If you send a reporter a pitch with a good story idea and not much else, they’ll still have to take the time to do all the research, come up with an appealing story angle, pull together any graphics needed for the story, and so on. It’s a lot of work to cover your company!
This is exactly why your pitches need to appeal to the self-interest of the reporter. Rather than saying, “Hey, cover my company,” make it as easy as possible for the reporter to write a story. Give them the angle. For example, you might say, “Would you be interested in the exclusive story of how my company went from being run out of my bedroom to generating $5 million a year?” Or you might say, “Are you interested in the story of how my company used a viral video to get 50,000 new members to our email list?”
The point I’m trying to make is this: don’t leave it up to the reporter to find interesting story angles about your company. Give them great story ideas and powerful narratives. The less work they have to do, the likelier it becomes that they’ll cover your story.
You can also appeal to the reporter’s self-interest by talking about how the story will appeal to their readers and how much traffic you think will be in it for them. If you plan on helping drive traffic to the story, tell them how you’ll do it.
So, have your pitches been appealing to the reporter’s self-interest?
This article is written by Mickie Kennedy, founder of eReleases (http://www.ereleases.com), the online leader in affordable press release distribution. Download your free copy of 8 Shocking Secrets Press Release Distribution Firms Don’t Want You to Know here: http://www.ereleases.com/landing3.html