Top five tips for pitching to media
At first, media relations can be one of the more daunting elements of PR life. The more you practice, though, the more confident you’ll become.
While confidence comes over time – very few people are naturals at media pitching right off the bat – you’re more likely to land a story if you know what you’re talking about and can show a journalist you’re confident and knowledgeable about the subject at hand.
Here’s our top five tips from Speed’s Media Masters on how to be pitch perfect!
1. Bullet-pointed notes – Don’t be afraid to write yourself a crib sheet/ script or bullet-pointed notes of the key points you want to cover off during a media sell-in. Remember to keep it short and sharp, journalists only have so much time to listen to pitches so grab their attention as quickly as possible. Avoid writing a full script though as reading straight from the page is something journalists notice as it will come across as forced.
2. Practice – If you don’t feel particularly confident when it comes to pitching to journalists over the phone, or you have a particularly difficult or complex sell-in on the horizon, roleplaying outreach scenarios is a great way to prepare. If there are questions you’re hoping journalists don’t ask, get another member of the team to ask you those questions so you can prepare confident and concise responses.
3. Don’t put journalists on a pedestal – It may seem daunting at first but remember that journalists are just people like you and with at least 50% of national news being PR sourced, they rely on us as much as we rely on them. It’s also worth remembering that a number of the Speed team comes from a journalist background and can attest that for every difficult journalist that gives PR professionals a hard time, there is a news desk full of contacts grateful for our help. You’ll also find the more you work with a journalist, the more receptive they are to pitches moving forward, so don’t be afraid to pick-up the phone.
4. Learn from experience – Einstein once said “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting different results.” This is particularly true when it comes to pitching – if journalists are providing feedback as to why a story isn’t of interest, take a step back and question how you can remedy that to increase your chances of success with other publications you’re targeting.
5. Don’t let negativity phase you – While some journalists might be having a bad day, don’t let any negativity phase you or stop you from excelling at media relations. Don’t let one bad experience stop you from enjoying the rush you’ll get when you land top tier coverage clients are looking for.
If you’d like more advice and support from our media experts please do get in touch on firstname.lastname@example.org