Marijane Funess April 29, 2014 | 03:19:30

When PR Pros Pitch Media: Do This, Not That

With apologies to the popular Men’s Health “Eat This, Not That” column, here are some tried and true strategies to employ when pitching a story on behalf of your latest B2B, tech or consumer PR client.

Pitch in private, not in public. In other words, by email, text, or phone, not Twitter or Linked In. However, you can use those to start a relationship based on favoriting a tweet or commenting on a blog post.

Pitch facts, not fiction. Now, this is not to say that you shouldn’t embellish a pitch to make it interesting, but don’t oversell or unrealistically hype what you have. When a good journalist digs into your pitch, the curtain will get pulled back and it may not be pretty!

Draft a personal note, not a mass-produced missive.  Not always doable, we know, but when you want to get through to a journalist with an overflowing email box, anything you can do that shows care and attention to detail may see your pitch rise to the top.

Pitch less, communicate more. As you build a relationship with a media contact, find ways to reach out that have nothing to do with a client. Compliment a writer’s story or provide a contact with information on a subject that you know is of interest. Simple gestures like that can create a better working relationship all around.

Be persistent, but not a pest. If your angle is good and you know the perfect person to do the story, be politely persistent. Tweak the angle and re-send if you don’t get an initial response, but let the contact know that you crafted this pitch with her in mind and what a great story you think she could produce. Then be a terrific resource providing not only your client, but other SMEs and content as well.

Support good journalism. Once a piece has posted or a segment has aired, thank the journalist and do your part to spread the news – share, comment, link, blog – whatever you can do to promote. This benefits everyone – your client, your contact and you!

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