There are two ways you can get your business in media. The first is by a journalist, who writes about your business without any prompting (reactive). The second is when you by pitch your story to a journalist (proactive).
Most companies would love to be the subject of constant positive coverage. However, the truth is that most journalist will cover your business this way if it has gone through a crisis or mistake. Because good-news are often done from proactive efforts. In order to get the attention of journalists, you need to package your news in a way that lets journalists cleary understand why it is important for their readers to know about it.
Remember that journalists receives press releases and pitches everyday, therefore it can be hard to stand out. However, these tips will help you maximise your chances of success.
1. Know the journalists preferred way to get pitched to
Because journalist gets a lot of pitches, it is important for you to make sure the pitch stans out. Thus, keep track of the different journalists you want to pitch to and get ot know them and whether they preferred to be called, or emailed. When you email, make sure your subject line is clear and catchy. Journalists have limited time, therefore if make sure your subject line is attention grabby and newsworthy. Because if not, chances are very high that you pitch will be ignored.
2. Only pitch relevant content
If you constantly send pitches where stories are not worth publishing, sooner or later the journalist might ignore your emails or phone calls. On the other hand, if you only call or email journalists when you have something attention grabbing and newsworthy, you might go onto their short-list of favourites. See this as building your reputation, where you become known for inly pitching interesting stories.
3. Know the publication
Research what publication the journalists writes for. You also want to make sure your pitch suits the publication and its audience. Because if your pitch is relevant, a journalists will most likely pick your story to feature.
4. Think big
You may want to offer insights into the journalists. Offer the journalist insight into your industry’s context, and relate your pitch to current trends or events. Consider how your product or service relates to contemporary industry challenges.
5. Pitch early and respect deadlines
Journalists juggle multiple competing tasks and stories every day, so your pitch won’t necessarily be the most important thing they work on. Give journalists lots of time to prepare. Don’t pitch to them on deadline day, and don’t pitch too close to a large event that you want attention for. Timing is crucial when contacting journalists about stories. The closer deadlines get, the less journalists search for new content. So, pitch early and increase your chances of success by giving journalists plenty of time to plan.
6. Be brief, be helpful, and know your topic
When you pitch to a journalist, be engaging and responsive. Answer the journalist’s questions, and ask questions yourself, so you understand the angle and what questions to expect later down the line. Make yourself accessible for further communication, and maintain a positive relationship, even after you are (hopefully) published. You never know when you’ll need to pitch to this journalist again in the future. If you have good rapport and build trust with a journalist, you’ll find it easier to work together in future.
For more information on pitching stories to journalists, or to book a media training session, contact us today.