Public Relations is an ever-changing industry and media pitching is a critical component to the process. Although it may look easy from the outside, pitching is a tactful art that requires a strategic plan from start to finish. According to Muck Rack, publicists outnumber journalists 6 to 1 and this number will continue to increase during the next decade. With constant breaking news and new trends emerging, just imagine the number of pitches that flood journalists’ inboxes on a daily basis!
Here at Aspen and Fort Lauderdale-based public relations agency Durée & Company, we understand that evolving with the industry is crucial to successful public relations for our clients. It’s essential for publicists to know how to position a client’s product launch, ribbon cutting or fundraiser so that it’s relevant and can cut through the noise of a cluttered inbox. That’s why the Dynamos are getting down to the nitty-gritty of successful pitching to capture the media’s attention and bring exposure to clients.
Targeting the Media
- Identify the Target – Start with the mindset that the news being pitched will provide value to the journalist, the outlet and their audience. Since the media includes reporters, hosts, producers, bloggers and more, we first identify who the target is and the media goals we want to achieve for our client. The main goal for media is to tell stories that will drive traffic to the outlet, website or show. We do this by putting ourselves in the shoes of the journalist and by asking if the story we’re pitching will resonate with their audience and bring positive exposure to their publication and the client’s brand.
- Research – Determine who will cover the topic by ensuring their beat aligns with the client’s brand and identify if they’ve covered this topic in the past. Our team is constantly thinking about what current news trends can contribute to the relevance of the pitch to increase the chance media will want to cover it. Journalists may also be more attracted to exclusive stories that will allow them to be the first to cover the topic in the news.
- Create a Media List – Once the right media targets have been determined, we create a media list to stay organized and keep track of who we’re pitching, the response and coverage rates and if we’ll need to follow up in the future.
Nailing the Pitch
- Tell a Relevant Story – Now that we’ve determined who to share the newsworthy content with, we craft a pitch that includes relevant key components to grab the attention of the journalist. By including links, statistics, images and biographies in the initial pitch, we decrease the back and forth for basic relevant information. By including these key details, we ensure the journalist has everything they need to be successful. The pitch has to offer the media value, so an evergreen pitch is likely not the best approach. Creating a pitch that cuts through the noise of a cluttered inbox by being strategic and connecting the pitch to breaking news and trending topics increases the likelihood that journalists will be interested. As publicists, storytelling is in our DNA, so we craft and tell stories for our clients about why their product, ribbon cutting or event is worth sharing in the news.
- Be Direct – The pitch should be direct, so the journalist has the crucial information to consider featuring or interviewing the client, not copy heavy. Our team creates pitches that are personal and straightforward while including a call to action – it may be an interview, a feature, a social media post, etc. The subject line is the first component that may draw their attention, so we always include an eye-catching subject line or attention grabber. When the news is time-sensitive, which it often is, our team may propose or request an interview or an opportunity to talk to experts.
- Use a Holistic Approach– The Dynamo team always says if at first, you don’t succeed, pitch again! In addition to nailing the initial pitch, the follow up is a crucial component to succeed when pitching media. Diverting back to the mass amounts of emails journalists receive, many times one email will not catch the eye of a reporter. In the case that it doesn’t, we cover our bases by using a holistic approach. This approach includes a friendly follow up email to reiterate why the client’s story is worth sharing, and picking up the phone to make a connection, if one is not already established.
- Tweak & Repeat– When writing a follow-up pitch, we tweak and repeat the original pitch by introducing a different angle or a new news hook that is relevant to breaking news or a trending topic. It’s important to reiterate the point without sending the exact same pitch previously shared. By offering an alternative angle in the follow-up, this may grab the attention of a journalist and increase the response rate.
- Find a Balance– Finally, we implement a respectful yet assertive balance when following up with journalists by not bombarding them with an email every day or calling until they answer the phone. Journalists are busy year-round, especially when there is breaking news. As publicists, we have to have patience and follow up with the media periodically to remind them about our clients and their newsworthy story.
Building relationships with the media through consistently unique and informative pitches can help publicists become a resource that journalists can go to for quality content and storylines. By providing value to the writer and inspiring their readers, viewers or listeners, we succeed in being master storytellers and driving awareness for our clients. Want to make an indelible impression in the news, but don’t have the time to do it yourself? Our team is ready to pitch our hearts out on your behalf to keep your name buzzing in the press. Now that you’ve learned the magic behind strategic public relations, contact us at 954.723.9350 and let us help you make the headlines year-round.
About Durée & Company
Durée & Company, Inc. is an award-winning, full-service public relations, marketing and special events firm founded in 1999. The firm has offices in Fort Lauderdale, Florida and Aspen, Colorado. Durée & Company serves the corporate, agency and nonprofit arenas for local, national and international clients. Services include public relations, social media, marketing, content development, advertising, special events, branding, radio promotions and more. Durée & Company clients include well-known names in business, fashion, hospitality, travel, wellness and CBD, marine & yacht, art and culture, nonprofit organizations, legal and professional services and real estate. Durée & Company is a member of PR Boutiques International™ (PRBI), an international network of boutique PR firms. To learn more, go to https://dureeandcompany.com/, visit Durée & Company on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/DureeCoPR/, Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/dureecopr Twitter at https://twitter.com/dureecopr or YouTube at http://www.youtube.com/user/DureeAndCompany, or call 954-723-9350.