In our last blog post, we outlined the top five things to include in a media pitch if your business is doing media outreach on its own. As we mentioned before, media outreach can be a pretty artful yet complex process behind-the-scenes. That’s why we’re arming you with five additional tactics to tackle the media outreach task.
6. Plan ahead
If you don’t know by now, the media are big planners–especially when working for monthly or quarterly publications. Those publication’s staff need to be more proactive in planning content in advance. Oftentimes publications will plan three to six months out from its actual publication issue date. You can planahead by checking out the publication’s editorial calendars online and seeing what topics they have slated for the upcoming months. Doing so allows you to pitch your business as an expert resource for an editorial topic and hopefully secure coverage in the not-so-distant future.
It is also helpful to think about story angles centered around holidays or big community events. For example, a wedding planning company might pitch a local broadcast station top tips for planning a wedding in the month of June when many weddings are happening. Another example: A fitness business might pitch a media contact during the summer season offering advice for summer bikini body fitness exercises.
In a media pitch, it’s importantto provide a little context or history behind your business. This is usually captured in the boilerplate at the end of the press release. You could also present the history of a topic or business visually. For example, if your business is celebrating an anniversary, you might attach an infographic of company history and milestones.
8. Answer 5 W’s
Probably the most fundamental part of any media pitch is answering the 5 W’s: who, what, when, where and why. This should be outlined in the first one to two sentences in the pitch. Beyond an attention getter (if appropriate), this should be the first thing media read in your pitch. They don’t have time to browse through a long winded email. It is encouraged to get to the point with the media and not waste their time with industry jargon and irrelevant information in the pitch.
9. Answer the question: Why should I care?
You need to tell the reporter why they should care about the story idea you’re presenting. This usually happens by telling them why it would be of interest to their readers/viewers/listeners. After all, the media produces content for their audiences so it is important that you deliver ready-made packages that convey the significance, relevancy, timeliness, and human interest facets of the story. Usually saying something like “You’re readers would find this interesting because…”
Keep It Simple Stupid (meant in the nicest way). Although it is important to be thorough in a media pitch, it is also important to keep story ideas short and to the point. Remember, you can always provide additional information in a press release or by referring them to a link online where they can go for additional information.
There’s a lot of information here! If your business still feels unsure about media pitching, give us a shout or shoot us an email. We have a vast inventory of media contacts and strong relationships with many reporters. We would be happy to help with your media relations and outreach efforts. Give us a call at 303.630.9527 or shoot us an email at email@example.com.
Author: Angela Shugarts, PR and Marketing strategist for Orapin Marketing + Public Relations | @angelashugarts
Rhiannon Hendrickson is the founder and CEO of Orapin Marketing + Public Relations, which helps purpose-driven businesses increase visibility, expand the reach of their message, and become sought-after industry leaders. She has worked with organizations of all sizes across myriad sectors to develop memorable and effective communications programs that generate awareness, engagement, and, ultimately, support for those that are making a meaningful impact.