Pitching the Media

[To comment: larry at larry litwin dot com.]

The December issue of PRSA’s Tactics         carried a column by Anne Isenhower. Her topic “pitching.”

You can read the entire piece on Page 16. Here is her conclusion:

Here are Isenhower’s five tips for pitching:

  1. Be familiar with what journalists write and what they’ve covered recently. That’s a given – whether it’s obvious in the pitch itself or whether you spell it out – and that research will help make sure you don’t pitch them a story they’ve already written.
  2. Keep emails as short as possible. As long as you tell reporters what the news actually is, you can add more details and photos later. Some reporters won’t open anything with attachments, so don t send them in your first email.
  3. Consider your timing. Give a reporter as much lead time as possible, make sure you have a timely news hook and make sure you’re catching them at a good time of day. If you’re making an announcement on a certain date, then plan to reach out several weeks ahead of that date to let them know.
  4. Reporters like to write about people. If you don’t have a human-interest story to share, then go find one.
  5. Reporters receive hundreds – If not thousands – of emails each day, so catch their attention by summing up the whole story in the headline and personalize it.

Anne Isenhower is a national and global media relations consultant based in Atlanta.

Larry Litwin’s The Public Relations Practitioner’s Playbook for (all) Strategic Communicators goes in depth on “pitching” in its Chapter 9 – Media Relations. See www dot larry litwin dot com.

[To comment: larry at larry litwin dot com.]