You might only know them by their bylines, but journalists are people too. And as a PR pro, your odds of having your story picked up by a media outlet all boils down to one simple truth: You need to catch the journalist's eye and make them like you. Think of it like a first date. If you make a great first impression, your odds of developing a healthy relationship goes up significantly. The following PR tips and tricks will make any journalist fall in love with your pitch and feature your story, brand or product in their next piece.
The more you know about the journalist, the better you can tailor your pitch to their unique preferences, background, and the types of stories they usually write. After identifying a few media outlets that you'd like to get featured in, do some background research on the blogger, journalist or reporter.
The more you know about a journalist, the better you can tailor your pitch to their interests. Most PR outreach attempts fail because the content you're pitching isn't what the journalist covers, or isn't what they're interested in talking about.
Keep an eye on what terms, ideas and stories are trending in your specific industry. You can easily do this by scanning the news daily, or setting up a Google alert so you get an email anytime something new appears online about the topic you're interested in.
The benefits are twofold:
Now that you know the journalist's preferences and what's timely and urgent in the world of news, craft a tailored pitch that:
In general, the best pitch that will make a journalist like you is concise and to the point (think no more than 300 words) and communicates the value of your story:
For example, you could tie your PR pitch to a recently published study. Or, you might mention a new survey that shows what local readers are interested in. Or maybe you could highlight how this angle builds on another article that the blogger recently published, and adds additional surprising insights.
The journalist will fall in love with you (and your pitch) if you can quickly hit the highlights and make it easy for the writer to pitch the article to his or her publisher. Do the work for them, because the easier you make their job, the more they'll like you and publish you!
Journalists get dozens of pitches a day. Now that you have the perfect story proposal, make sure your pitch doesn't get buried in their inbox:
Finally, if a journalist opens your email and replies (firstly, well done YOU!!!!), always respond as soon as possible. Bloggers and journalists are often on a big time crunch, and they'll like you more (and run your story) if you respond to their queries quickly.
PS: Are you receiving free publicity opportunities, straight into your inbox?