Pitching and media relations

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Pitching and media relations

  1. 1. Media Relations and Pitching<br />
  2. 2. “There is no point in developing creative and dynamic messages that resonate with our target audiences if the appropriate news media never receive them.”-Barbara Diggs-Brown<br />
  3. 3. Pitching<br />Effective PR practitioners build relationships with reporters to establish a good working relationship.<br />They need us for newsworthy, accurate information on deadline, and we need them to help deliver our messages to target publics.<br />
  4. 4. We pitch story ideas to reporters via phone, email, and pitch letters.<br />
  5. 5. Pitching by phone<br />The phone pitch might be a “cold call,” where we need to introduce ourselves to the reporter. <br />Or, if we’ve already established a relationship with the reporter, it might be an informal conversation.<br />
  6. 6. Before you pitch…<br />Start with a specific story angle. Your organization is not a story in itself. Reporters want something newsworthy: try connecting a local angle to a larger national story or a tie-in with current events or holidays.<br />Know WHY you’re pitching. How will this story help meet campaign objectives?<br />Know the outlet’s audience. How will this be relevant to the reporter’s viewers/listeners/readers?<br />
  7. 7. Before you pitch…<br />Know the reporter. Have they covered this story before?<br />Find out how the reporter wants to be contacted: phone, FAX, email.<br />Be prepared to SELL the STORY (but don’t overhype).<br />
  8. 8. Before you pitch <br />Decide on your three main points, so that you can get to the point quickly (reporters are busy!)<br />Be prepared! Get notes, news releases, and other material in order.<br />Don’t start with the top tier media. Get comfortable by pitching to your second-tier list. Once you have your pitch <br />
  9. 9. Pitching by Phone: DO<br />Do create different angles and be prepared to change your pitch mid-stream, in case they are not interested or have already covered something similar to your pitch.<br />Take notes of every contact with a reporter, their interests, action items, etc.<br />Be brief!<br />
  10. 10. Pitching by Phone: DON’T<br />DON’T Call reporters on deadline<br />Morning papers, after 2 pm, TV news: 1 hr before air<br />Note this info on your media list (call the editorial asst. to find out deadlines)<br />Don’t leave repeated messages or be pushy. If they say no, be polite and say thank you. They might be interested in the next pitch.<br />Don’t ask for coverage. Reporters don’t owe you anything.<br />
  11. 11. Pitching by Email<br />Don’t send attachments. DON’T EVEN THINK about it!<br />Don’t send a mass email. Create a customized pitch for each reporter (and if you must send to multiple recipients, use BCC).<br />Don’t use subject headers that look like spam, e.g. “Hi Rachel!” or “Press Release”<br />Make it short<br />Make it easy to read (paragraphs, spaces)<br />DON’T<br />DO<br />
  12. 12. Pitch Letters<br />Pitch letters are more formal that the phone pitch. A pitch letter is often used in a first contact with a reporter, and often accompanies a media kit.<br />Address the letter to a specific reporter or editor and tailored to the publication and its readers. <br />Start the letter with attention-grabbing information. Pique the reporter’s interest!<br />
  13. 13. Pitch Letters<br />Offer to set up interviews with key personnel.<br />Offer to provide more information and indicate when you’ll call to follow up. <br />
  14. 14. Incoming Requests for Information<br />Handle incoming requests quickly and efficiently. Being dependable on deadline increases trust and credibility.<br />Volunteer info about other products or events.<br />Help them set up interviews with the client.<br />

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