Did you know that journalists open only 3 percent of all pitches?
If you want to control the story of your brand, you’re going to need news outlets and journalistic sources to tell a story that aligns with your values. But how can you control what a journalist says if they never open your message in the first place?
This is why it’s imperative to have a strong media pitch. If you don’t want journalists to ignore you, keep on reading.
A media pitch is your bid at getting journalists interested in your brand. It’s a message you send — typically these days through email — that tells them a certain story or angle about your brand, an event you’re doing, or, in bad cases, a recent controversy, that they might be interested in picking up and covering.
Generally, in a media pitch, you’ll let them know the message you want to send, and why that message is important and relative to their cause. Remember when working on your media pitch that you need to serve their interests as well.
To give the news outlets what they want, you need to understand trends in news angles. If you understand this, you can tailor your pitch to what they want. Keep an eye out for these anchors, then pitch when you see them open up.
A big one that you can look for is time-based anchors. The simplest example of this is letting out a summer-based pitch when the warm weather rolls around. If you have a product that is somehow hot-weather related, it wouldn’t take too much effort to figure out what you should send.
This could also be more specific, like a holiday, or specially designed month. Good examples for this are Pride Month, Black History month, Labor Day, etc.
You can also shoot for something that is specifically within the news cycle. News cycles go by quickly, so you’d have to act fast, but if you can hit it right, this is one of the best ways to get your story out there.
Riding current news trends can help your story spread virally — with this tactic, you can capture the cultural consciousness.
Don’t just reach out to any news organization, though; reach out to the ones that you think will be interested in your content. It is the job of a news outlet to report stories with a relative level of objectivity. However, at the end of the day, they’re still businesses and need to find their own niche.
Forbes, for example, specializes in business and money-related news. You’re probably not going to pitch a cultural or artistic-based story to them. That would be more specific to the Wall Street Journal.
Your specificity shouldn’t stop with the news outlet you pitch to. Go above and beyond, and pitch to a specific reporter.
On the internet, it’s easier than ever to research a reporter. Simply click on their name at the bottom of the page and you can see other articles that they’ve written. Read a few of these — study the topics they’re interested in, what they cover, and what slant they put on each news story.
When you do this, you can pinpoint the reporter that will be most likely to pick up your news story and make your brand look good.
If this goes well, you can develop a contact at a specific news agency, and work with them on projects in the future.
Keep in mind that journalists receive several pitches a day, so you’re going to need to make sure you have a lot to say.
You want your brand to be covered and a big thing just happened to you. This might trick you into thinking your story is automatically newsworthy. Unfortunately, this just isn’t the case.
Your story might just be a standard, mundane story that anyone could tell. Make sure your story is timely and relevant.
Is your story just a situation? Just a few developments? Or does it have a beginning, middle, and end?
Is your story exciting? Tension building? Outrageous?
If your story can’t engage on these levels, consider waiting until something pops up that’s more like this. After all, you don’t want to get a reputation in this news outlet’s eye as someone who comes up with boring stories.
Waiting for the right moment to strike is just as important as striking itself.
The human brain loves stories. Stories have a unique ability to transform the human brain and bring it into the world of the narrative, almost like it’s happening to the person experiencing the story.
Developing an understanding of basic stories will help you with your media pitches. You can structure the story of your pitch around some of the most reliable temples of stories out there.
The three-act story structure is a great example of this.
You should always start your pitch with a “lead.” Think of this as a pre-credit scene in a movie, a cold open in a sketch comedy show, or a grabbing opening line at the beginning of a book. Make sure this opening line isn’t an exaggeration, however, or else your pitch will not seem genuine.
This line is extra key in our media age because many people check their emails while on their phones on the go. We recommend getting as catchy as you can in your media pitch email.
Follow this up with some sort of engagement to the specific reader, or a call to action. Let your reader know exactly what you want from them. Keeping this upfront is a great way to seem honest.
You can usually follow this up with some sort of statistics and information. This is the perfect place for the meat of your story.
Let them right after this exactly what you’re offering and why it’s important.
Before you even get to the pitch, though, make sure you have a great subject line. Contrary to what you might think — it’s not always best to cut down your subject line.
All of the above information is important to learn if you want to run a successful business. There won’t always be people there to help you out — and you should understand how to edit any material to your specifications.
However, if you can, it would save you a lot of time and effort to hire a service specifically devoted to writing media pitches. A team like this would have experience, and would likely write a better PR pitch than you ever could.
EReleases has specific news outlets that are frequent collaborators. By working with a service like this one, you’re more likely to make those connections that are so key to getting your products and/or services out there.
They have an understanding of different news outlets, businesses, and even influencers. However, you can also pick your own specific contacts that you can reach out to. The best media pitch plans do certain things for you, while also allowing you a certain level of autonomy.
These will not just help you get your story out there, but help you develop a “media list,” giving you many different options for media distribution in the future. If you want to grow your business in the contemporary landscape, you’re going to need to embrace this.
By working with a service like this, you’re working with writers and editors, not sales representatives. These folks understand the intricacies of writing and catching journalists’ attention. They care deeply about their craft and will help you make the pitch that’s right for you to make.
The advice is focused on making sure your writing is as clear and concise as it needs to be — not on selling you anything.
This particular service also provides you with proof of distribution, so you know that your word is getting to the people you want it to get to.
As you can see, a great media pitch is key to building your brand and business. However, these media pitches aren’t easy to make. They require a lot of time, expert, and expertise to get right.
Thankfully, if you make use of a great dedicated service, you can eliminate a lot of the difficulties.
For more information on press release services, contact us today.