Analyzed by: Amanda Diah – PR Consultant of FortunePR
When you want your media pitch to be covered in a well-known website or newspaper, you must learn a valuable method called pitching to get journalists to use your story. A media pitch is a brief letter you send to journalists to get them interested to do a story about you, your company, your brand, or your projects.
It is important to understand that you’re not the only one who competes for a place in the media. The media agenda can be unpredictable and current trends are very dynamic. You can’t guarantee that the journalist you pitch will eventually write your story. Therefore, conducting a successful pitch is the key to overcome the stiff competition when it comes to getting journalist’s attention.
In perfecting a pitch and to get journalist’s attention, a PR professionals must know the current news, media agenda setting, and understand effective media relations tactics. Based on an article written by Alli Williams published on PR Daily, there are five ways a PR professional can perfect their pitches, as well as making press releases and stories more newsworthy.
First is by reading the news. You select what you will read first. Read articles written by reporters to whom you want to pitch. By doing so, you will get a sense about the topics and their writing style, so you can implement it when planning your pitch and press releases. The more relevant it is to the journalist, the more likely your piece will make it to print.
In addition to William’s first point, every time we conduct a story pitch, we must also pay attention to the targeted media. You can start by categorizing your story pitch to a few media segment, since each media has their own characteristics and values. If this is done, there is a better chance that our story can go in line with the content and types of the targeted media. Also, we must make sure that each article is unique and appealing to the audience.
Second is by not spamming the journalists. You must make your press releases targeted to a specific journalist. You can do this by making a list of names of journalist according to their topic expertise, rather than sending an e-mail blast to random names.
Third is to add quotations. This strategy will add credibility to your story and humanize your press release.
Fourth is to include the five “Ws”(Who? What? When? Where? Why?). This is important when reviewing your press releases because there’s no news angle if there’s no questions to be answered.
Last but not least, to recognize deadlines. Timing is important. Your press releases must be timely. You must remember that journalists scan across dozens of news pitches from other parties each day. So, you must pitch something interesting, appealing, and worth reading.
As a PR professional, we have to stay updated to current condition, situations, and news trends. By doing this, we can find a way to deliver our message to our audience through the media. We also keep track on the needs of each targeted media. By doing this, we can later provide their needs from our story pitch. We can also help the media find official quotations from credible sources to strengthen their credibility.
When pitching, understanding the media is the main road to success. Media relations strategies plays a vital role. There’s nothing wrong with meeting journalist for lunch or on casual gatherings. The aim is to sustain a positive network with journalists so they won’t feel used, as if we only need them for our pitch only.