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How to Pitch a Reporter


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An inside look at best practices and worst practices for pitching reporter's from BostInno's Greg Gomer, and WBUR's Curt Nickisch. Learn some of the basics of public relations online. Learn more from …

An inside look at best practices and worst practices for pitching reporter's from BostInno's Greg Gomer, and WBUR's Curt Nickisch. Learn some of the basics of public relations online. Learn more from the experts by visiting

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  • 1. presentsHow to Pitch A ReporterWith A Compelling StoryGREGORY GOMER@sliggityCURT NICKISCH@CurtNickisch
  • 2. Greg GomerManaging Editor of Streetwise Media, editing the top local startup news for Greg is a savvyreporter deeply embedded in the startup scene, always turning up breaking news a few beats ahead. Hesalso just an all around great guy to know in Boston.Curt NickischBusiness & Technology Reporter for WBUR. Curt tells Boston’s best business and tech stories in ways thatboth biz-savvy insiders and business neophytes find intriguing and informative. As the Business andTechnology Reporter at one of the nations premier public radio stations, WBUR-FM in Boston, he seeks outthe most relevant economy, finance and technology stories and craft them from conception to productionfor both broadcast and online media. His stories are heard and read not only in Greater Boston, but bymillions countrywide on National Public Radio and Marketplace and internationally as well.Day in the Life - Who we Are
  • 3. • Whos your target audience?• Identify the style of the content• Long form, breaking news, etc• Finding the right reporter at the publication• Expertise• Recent bylines• LinkedIn• Build a relationship with a karma emailIdentifying the Right Reporter &Publication
  • 4. • Announcements• Funding• Product Launches/Updates• Competitors’ news• Profiles• When to profile• News hooks?• Times to avoid• Expert Weigh-in• Reaction towards news• Data• Shareaholic• RunKeeper• Trends• How we improved using hot product XTypes of Content
  • 5. •Press Wire• Large reach, crowded and expensive•Media Kits• Cute, memorable, not super engaging•Phone• No! Ok, sometimes•Using a PR Company• When the time is right•Twitter/Facebook/LinkedIn• Engage, Start conversation, Dont pitch•Email• All day, every day (with rules, of course)How to Pitch - Identifying the RightMedium
  • 6. Why now?When to email• Time• Again?• UrgencyTargeting multiple publications at onceEmbargoes?Ready to Pitch
  • 7. Bad Embargo Example
  • 8. Perfect Embargo Example
  • 9. TO: Targeted reporterCC: Other parties that can provide context/answer questionsSubject: Short, Sweet, Company Name, Teaser, Time HookBody: 3 paragraphs, 2 sentences each at most. Use bullet pointsTone: Be honest and humble. Write like a reporter. Have personality but dontmake it personal.Crafting Your Email
  • 10. • Back to Basics• Self-serving• Unclear• No calls to action• No contact information• Buzzword Bingo• Boring• Longggg• No news hook• Doesnt align with publication or reporterThe Good & The Bad, Starting with theBad
  • 11. Bad Pitch - Are You Serious?
  • 12. Bad Pitch - Do you even know whoyoure pitching?
  • 13. Forgot to Sell Example
  • 14. • Catchy email subject line• Factual• Relevance: Understanding why the reporter’s audience will want toread it• Concise and clear - not just a brain dump• Make writer’s job easy• Hard hitting takeaway - Growth increased by x because of x• Know your descriptor (Blankety-blank, the web analytics startup, …)• Follow up, follow up, follow upNow for the Good
  • 15. Awesome Pitch - RunKeeper
  • 16. Awesome Pitch - Shareaholic
  • 17. Building Relationships Example
  • 18. Profile Example
  • 19. Why do you think people need to know this?Work BackwardsLooking for usersEnsure the correct message, realize that may limit yourstoriesGain awarenessInvestorsIf you don’t know, don’t pitchEstablishing Media Outreach Goals
  • 20. • Ensuring distributiono Send to network§ make them tweet, like, etco If the story does well, the reporter will continue writing about you• Company newsletter, consider putting it online under “press”• Be ready for follow-on interviews from other outletso If it’s big news, clear your calendar for media stormo Case in point: United Breaks Guitars• Revisit goalso be wary of pitching then to competitors, may be waiting periodo (if you’ve been in the Globe, the Herald doesn’t want you the next day)• Continue relationship buildingo follow ups & social mediaWhat to do after the story goes live
  • 21. Greg!Questions? Follow up
  • 22. The Long Form Pitch
  • 23. The Double Press Release
  • 24. Love This Pitch
  • 25. Short, but could besexier
  • 26. Short, Good, stilldidnt do story
  • 27. Elaborate Pitch: StillFollows Rules
  • 28. Course TitleCourse TitleINSTRUCTOR NAME