07 November 2018 Guest Contributor

'The Party People' continually appears in the media and people are always asking me (Chief Party Dude) how we do it. You need only go to our home page and there's a banner saying "we're famous" showing many of the places we've been featured. Here are some tips we've used (successfully) to get noticed when pitching:

1. Have a detailed 'About Us' page

Journalists will research you before deciding if you're worthy of a story. Make sure your 'About Us' page on your site has heaps of detail. You can see ours here. You should also have a great LinkedIn profile for yourself personally. In terms of other social media, the quality of those pages for your company is also important.

2. Research the media and mention it

I always respond in my pitches with a comment with something about the media I am pitching to. You might reference a related story you like or highlight why your pitch is perfect for their target market.

3. Key information in first sentences

Journalists get thousands of pitches a day. They won’t read them all, so grab their attention in the first paragraph. (See how I grabbed your attention in the first paragraph of this piece?)

4. Provide all the information

Provide lots of detail in your response but keep that in the main body of your pitch. I often put lots of links or references in my pitch so all the information is at the journalist's finger tips. For example, I might reference some relevant statistics or even tell them to "Google Dean Salakas" to learn more about me. This way you give them the juiciest bits while leaving some of the detail to the links if they're interested and want more.

5. Spell check

Don't forget to spell check. Even when responding to a SourceBottle call out, either get yourself a spell checker in your browser or copy and paste it to Microsoft Word. You lose credibility with journalists if you make lots of spelling mistakes.

6. Make your pitch memorable

A GOOD story rarely gets published, but an AMAZING story has a good chance. Use language and comments that will make your pitch memorable. I might put something in it like: "From Clown to Australia's Largest Party Store" in the pitch to help get cut through and make readers remember it.

7. Be the expert

Pitch confidently as the expert on the topic you're talking about. You might mention experience or awards that support this statement. For example, I often mention that I won the "Australian Retail Associations Independent Retailer Of The Year" award, or that I was named as a Top 50 People in Ecommerce. I also sign off as "Chief Party Dude" so my title also reflects my position that I'm an "expert on party". (Journalists also prefer to talk directly to the source, so pitch as the CEO - even if it's not the CEO that wrote the pitch.)

If you're really hard-core like I am about getting yourself in the media as much as possible, I recommend reading the books Key Person Of Influence and Platform.

Hope these hacks help you get noticed.

Happy pitching!

Dean Salakas is the Chief Party Dude at The Party People. He and his brother Peter Salakas took over the business from their mother who started the business as a clown 30 years ago. The business is now Australia's market leader for party supplies online and also operates the largest party store in Australia. Dean has appeared on many high profile TV shows such as Shark Tank, ABC News & Celebrity Apprentice, to name just a few.
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