Reading Time: ~3 Mins | Written By: Mackenzie Mowat
Identifying unique and interesting stories is the name of the game when it comes to PR. What’s going to make the journalist read YOUR pitch over the mountains of others they have in their inbox? While company updates and new product announcements may be really exciting for your company or client themselves, it’s not necessarily going to resonate with your media contacts as deeply.
The best way to ensure the people you’re pitching to are interested in your story is to highlight the newsworthiness of your pitch. Here are some of the best ways you can go about that:
Think ahead with an editorial calendar
Yes, the news is changing all the time, but there are events and holidays that dominate the news every year. Think ahead and be prepared with the angles that really work to tie your business or client in with. By planning in advance, you can be ahead of the pack and have a really well-developed and thought out pitch. None of the rushed, last minute drafting and sending on the day!
Utilize your local media
A lot of the time people want to shoot for the stars with their pitches and stories. While that’s totally fine, it’s worth the reminder that if your story has newsworthiness, local coverage can lead to national coverage. Your story is more likely to get picked up by a smaller publication that’s familiar with you and your business, so never shy away from the ‘local’ aspect, and just see where that coverage can take you!
Know when to tie your story to the news and when you’re chasing
You should still use your PR-lense to decipher when it’s appropriate to jump onto a trending piece of news. Serious subject matter may be dominating the news at a given time, and maybe even loosely connects to your brand, but a lot of the time this can come across and insensitive and a reach at best. However, offering to be an expert on a topic that could help them in the future is still a beneficial way to make a connection and increase the likelihood of working with that contact in the future.
Don’t let you story get lost in your pitch
We can’t make a pitch tip list without including this note: Keep your pitches short and sweet. Journalists are busy people with tons of emails to get through. It can feel against our natural instincts as PR professionals to cut out the pleasantry at the top of our emails, but your media contacts will thank you for it. If you bury your totally timely, relevant, and exciting story in a 3 paragraph email that doesn’t get to the point right away, you might just miss out on a valuable piece of coverage.
What’s interesting to some is not interesting to all
You could have a 10/10 brand new, breaking tech story that is totally lost on your misaligned media contact. Sometimes it’s not your story, it’s your contacts! This lends to spending your time on your media list and feeling confident that each one you’re reaching out to is going to find some sort of value in your pitch. Don’t bother wasting your time, or theirs, on contacts that are unlikely to be interested in your subject matter. Do you research and know that you’re offering them a great story to feature.
Pitching to the media is an art and it takes a lot of trial and error! Don’t get discouraged along the way, and just know there are a ton of factors that come into play when it comes to landing an earned story. Hopefully with these tips, you can skip a bit of that trial process and see some quicker success from your pitches. We know you can do this!
As a Vancouver-centric PR firm, we believe in getting people talking about you, versus regular advertisements will be people talking at you. But first, you have to talk to us. So leave the pitches to the professionals and see how we can help you with your digital marketing efforts.