7 New Rules of Higher Ed MediaRelationsBoost Your Credibility and PlacementsDespite Shrinking Coverage@michaelsmartpr     ...
Thank you for this investment                                2
Listen for. . .• The two-step pitch formula to grab any  journalist’s or blogger’s attention• Surprising ways to frame bor...
Drastic changes in media•   Lay-offs•   Multiple beats•   Multiple platforms•   Bigger premium on speed•   More pressure, ...
So what DO you say?    • What is journalists’ favorite topic?    • Familiarize yourself with their previous stories    • R...
From: [reporter]Sent: Thursday, January 15 1:35 PMTo: Michael SmartSubject: Out of Office: checklist saves livesIm out of ...
10-second pitch formulaI saw your stories on (subject), and I thought you   might be interested in (story).               ...
7 New rules of higher ed pitching1. Customize your pitches to stand out2. Find the better angle even if it’s not obviousOn...
Pitch• “A BYU researcher developed a ‘bird  breathalyzer’ to determine whether sparrows  and warblers are migrating under ...
2nd tip for angles: pop culture13-year-old honors class• Students run the class and do all the research;  professor merely...
© Copyright 2012 MichaelSMARTPR, LLCPitch• Study: Hire a Dwight Schrute for a better  performing team                     ...
12
3rd tip for angles: media agenda• Tie your news to a current eventPromoting English research?•   In the fall, English prof...
7 New rules of higher ed pitching1. Customize your pitches to stand out2. Find the better angle even if it’s not obvious3....
15
© Copyright 2012 MichaelSMARTPR, LLC                                       16
© Copyright 2012 MichaelSMARTPR, LLC                                   © Copyright 2012 MichaelSMARTPR, LLC7 New rules of ...
Anatomy of a perfect pitch email•   One-paragraph intro•   One-paragraph description of the angle•   Call to action and of...
From: Michael SmartSent: Wednesday, March 28, 2012 3:21 PMTo: Rachel EnsignSubject: fan mail: good time to refinanceRachel...
7 New rules of higher ed pitching1.   Customize your pitches to stand out2.   Find the better angle even if it’s not obvio...
Birth-order study• Real people  – Professor’s siblings  – Professor’s kids  – Families in DC area• Third parties:  – Well ...
7 New rules of higher ed pitching1.   Customize your pitches to stand out2.   Find the better angle even if it’s not obvio...
Follow-up sequence• First email• Second email – same as the first• Then phone call  – Call ‘til they answer  – Never refer...
7 New rules of higher ed pitching1.   Customize your pitches to stand out2.   Find the better angle even if it’s not obvio...
Pulling it all together  • Q&A coming up  Pulling it all together  •   BYU’s competition math team  •   In the top 25  •  ...
Mathletes rap video • Shot in one 3-hour session • Cost $500 • All “talent” from within departmentHey Jenna,March Madness ...
Before we conclude• Additional resources• Q+A• Parting words                         27
Additional resources• For a copy of the presentation, sign up for my  email pitching tips• www.michaelsmartpr.comAdditiona...
Your university  name herePlease stay in touch       michael@MichaelSmartPR.com        Twitter: @MichaelSmartPR           ...
Upcoming SlideShare
Loading in …5
×

7 new rules of higher ed media pitching

712 views

Published on

My presentation at the PRSA CHE summit in April 2012.

Published in: News & Politics, Business
0 Comments
1 Like
Statistics
Notes
  • Be the first to comment

No Downloads
Views
Total views
712
On SlideShare
0
From Embeds
0
Number of Embeds
2
Actions
Shares
0
Downloads
0
Comments
0
Likes
1
Embeds 0
No embeds

No notes for slide

7 new rules of higher ed media pitching

  1. 1. 7 New Rules of Higher Ed MediaRelationsBoost Your Credibility and PlacementsDespite Shrinking Coverage@michaelsmartpr © Copyright 2012 MichaelSMARTPR, LLC 1
  2. 2. Thank you for this investment 2
  3. 3. Listen for. . .• The two-step pitch formula to grab any journalist’s or blogger’s attention• Surprising ways to frame boring facts into a catchy story• The unconscious test every journalist/blogger applies to every pitch• Specific pattern for getting on media/bloggers’ radar screenTweet along• @michaelsmartpr• #prsacheDrastic changes in media• What have you observed? 3
  4. 4. Drastic changes in media• Lay-offs• Multiple beats• Multiple platforms• Bigger premium on speed• More pressure, more stress, less time• Journalists’ and bloggers’ complaints about PR• But the reality is . . .This is good news for us• Bigger payoff for working smarter• There has never been a better time to be a media-savvy higher ed PR pro7 New rules of higher ed pitching1. Customize your pitches to stand out 4
  5. 5. So what DO you say? • What is journalists’ favorite topic? • Familiarize yourself with their previous stories • Reference their earlier work, and tell how your pitch relatesSubject line: checklist saves lives storyHi [USAT reporter],I was fascinated that in this world of expensive medicalinterventions that a simple checklist could be that effective. The bitabout Gawande’s own patient was a nice touch.I thought you might be interested in proof that another publichealth intervention is having a dramatic impact. A professor at myuniversity is publishing a study in NEJM that shows decreases inair pollution in American cities have added five months to theaverage Americans’ life.Would you like me to send more info so you can decide whetheryou’d like to interview the author?Thanks for your consideration, 5
  6. 6. From: [reporter]Sent: Thursday, January 15 1:35 PMTo: Michael SmartSubject: Out of Office: checklist saves livesIm out of the office. Back tomorrow.From:Sent: Thursday, January 15 2:00 PMTo: Michael SmartSubject: RE: checklist saves livesSure, please send it.From: Michael Smart [mailto:michael_smart@byu.edu]Sent: Thursday, January 15 1:34 PMTo:Subject: RE: checklist saves livesHi [name],I was fascinated that in this world of expensive medicalinterventions that a simple checklist could be that effective. The bitabout Gawande’s own patient was a nice touch. 6
  7. 7. 10-second pitch formulaI saw your stories on (subject), and I thought you might be interested in (story). 7
  8. 8. 7 New rules of higher ed pitching1. Customize your pitches to stand out2. Find the better angle even if it’s not obviousOne tip for angles: Process• Result or event isn’t that interesting, how about the process?• Great for boring new products or routine events 8
  9. 9. Pitch• “A BYU researcher developed a ‘bird breathalyzer’ to determine whether sparrows and warblers are migrating under the influence of berries or bugs so we can help protect their habitats.” 9
  10. 10. 2nd tip for angles: pop culture13-year-old honors class• Students run the class and do all the research; professor merely observes• Premise is the students are marooned on an island and must build an airplane to get off 10
  11. 11. © Copyright 2012 MichaelSMARTPR, LLCPitch• Study: Hire a Dwight Schrute for a better performing team 11
  12. 12. 12
  13. 13. 3rd tip for angles: media agenda• Tie your news to a current eventPromoting English research?• In the fall, English professor. . .• Writing a book about a pirate. . .• Who was a woman. . .• Who was IRISH! 13
  14. 14. 7 New rules of higher ed pitching1. Customize your pitches to stand out2. Find the better angle even if it’s not obvious3. Take advantage of new media outletsNew outlets and opportunities• Student intern built targeted list of blogs, sites• Found and pitched 12 sites in one hour• 8 ran the story with no follow-up 14
  15. 15. 15
  16. 16. © Copyright 2012 MichaelSMARTPR, LLC 16
  17. 17. © Copyright 2012 MichaelSMARTPR, LLC © Copyright 2012 MichaelSMARTPR, LLC7 New rules of higher ed pitching1. Customize your pitches to stand out2. Find the better angle even if it’s not obvious3. Take advantage of new media outlets4. Keep pitches brutally short 17
  18. 18. Anatomy of a perfect pitch email• One-paragraph intro• One-paragraph description of the angle• Call to action and offers to help• The most important thing a journalist can see in your email pitch is the . . .. . . end.Short email pitches• Save background, proper names for later• DON’T paste release or background below 18
  19. 19. From: Michael SmartSent: Wednesday, March 28, 2012 3:21 PMTo: Rachel EnsignSubject: fan mail: good time to refinanceRachel,I LOVED that story because it caused the opposite of buyer’s remorse for me. Irefinanced in February, and now thanks to you I can crow to myself about gettinglucky and hitting the record low rate!I’m also writing because I thought you as a personal finance writer might beinterested in new academic research that found that setting a budget for a specificpurpose actually backfires.The study found consumers who set a budget increase their spending by up to 50percent more than consumers who don’t set a price target.It’s being published in an academic journal and was authored by marketing profs atBYU and Emory. We’re releasing it to the public now.Would you like me to send more info?Best,Michael Smart WSJ reporter on email pitches • Gets 60 email pitches a day (more go to spam) • “You can tell in the first sentence or two . . .” “Write in a concise way that highlights what’s really interesting. I get pitches and I bet these people are really interesting, but the email is, like, eight paragraphs.” 19
  20. 20. 7 New rules of higher ed pitching1. Customize your pitches to stand out2. Find the better angle even if it’s not obvious3. Take advantage of new media outlets4. Keep pitches brutally short5. Do the leg work for journalists and bloggersSecret test• All journalists and bloggers do this without realizing it• They subconsciously evaluate every pitch• They ask themselves: “How much time will this take?”What do they need?• Sources: real people• Sources: outside experts• Visuals 20
  21. 21. Birth-order study• Real people – Professor’s siblings – Professor’s kids – Families in DC area• Third parties: – Well known UCLA birth order researcher – Expert at U. of MarylandToday show 21
  22. 22. 7 New rules of higher ed pitching1. Customize your pitches to stand out2. Find the better angle even if it’s not obvious3. Take advantage of new media outlets4. Keep pitches brutally short5. Do the leg work for journalists and bloggers6. Diplomatically but tenaciously persistChina research 22
  23. 23. Follow-up sequence• First email• Second email – same as the first• Then phone call – Call ‘til they answer – Never reference your email, just dive into the pitchWSJ reporter• (I had sent her 4 follow-up emails)• “Follow-up is okay as long as you’re not a pest, you handled that well.”• “Same-day follow-up is too soon” 23
  24. 24. 7 New rules of higher ed pitching1. Customize your pitches to stand out2. Find the better angle even if it’s not obvious3. Take advantage of new media outlets4. Keep pitches brutally short5. Do the leg work for journalists and bloggers6. Diplomatically but tenaciously persist7. Don’t whine about lacking media relationships – use pitches to build themBuilding relationships with media• How do I get them on the phone? How can I visit them?• The strength of your relationships with media/bloggers is determined by the usefulness of the information you share with them7 New rules of higher ed pitching1. Customize your pitches to stand out2. Find the better angle even if it’s not obvious3. Take advantage of new media outlets4. Keep pitches brutally short5. Do the leg work for journalists and bloggers6. Diplomatically but tenaciously persist7. Don’t whine about lacking media relationships – use pitches to build them 24
  25. 25. Pulling it all together • Q&A coming up Pulling it all together • BYU’s competition math team • In the top 25 • Landed top HS math student in nation • No one cared • How do you get people to care about math? • It’s obvious: Mathletes• Shoot a rap video! 25
  26. 26. Mathletes rap video • Shot in one 3-hour session • Cost $500 • All “talent” from within departmentHey Jenna,March Madness and Pi Day collide in thisMathlete rap music video:http://youtu.be/0AGT4M3Z1OMI can send you more details if you decide thisfits.Joe HadfieldBYU Media Relations Manager 26
  27. 27. Before we conclude• Additional resources• Q+A• Parting words 27
  28. 28. Additional resources• For a copy of the presentation, sign up for my email pitching tips• www.michaelsmartpr.comAdditional resources• You’ll also receive tips on winning subject lines• www.michaelsmartpr.comQ&A michael@MichaelSmartPR.com Twitter: @MichaelSmartPR 28
  29. 29. Your university name herePlease stay in touch michael@MichaelSmartPR.com Twitter: @MichaelSmartPR www.michaelsmartpr.com 29

×