You have a story, you have a target media outlet, and now you’re ready to make your pitch – or so you think. But how prepared are you? If you just pick up the phone and make a call, you may as well be taking a shot into the dark. In other words, you’re wasting your time.
Like the saying goes, he who fails to plan, plans to fail. If you don’t have a strong plan in place for pitching the media, you’re not going to get the results you desire.
Instead of taking a crap shoot, do the following legwork to make sure you’re prepared.
- Know who covers what. Say you’re going to pitch your local newspaper about your new technology product. Would you want to speak to the guy who writes about the local high school football games? Of course not. You would need to find out which reporters cover the technology beat or local business news. That way you’ll make sure you get in touch with someone who just might care about what you have to say.
- Email tricks. You’re not always going to find the email address of the person you want to talk to. That would just be too easy, right? But don’t worry, if you can’t hunt theirs down, try this little trick. Look at the other email addresses listed from the media outlet. How are they formatted? Perhaps you notice they’re all the first initial followed by the last name at whatever-the-organization-is-called-dot-com (e.g. BSmith@localnews.com). If so, simply plug in the information of the reporter you’re looking for and give it a shot.
- Are they on Twitter? Email isn’t always going to cut the mustard. Why? Because you can bet the reporter’s inbox is exploding with pitches and they probably don’t read half of them. Sorry, it’s the truth. So look for them on Twitter. If you can find them, follow them and try and contact them by replying to one of their tweets. It’s much more likely that they’ll see that – which will help you stand out from the crowd.
Bottom line, you need to know a little about who you are pitching to in order to increase the chances of a successful pitch.
What other ways do you prepare for your pitch?
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 the Beginner’s Guide to Writing Powerful Press Releases here: http://www.ereleases.com/insider/beginnersguide.html