We live at a time when entrepreneurship has become easier and more accessible than ever. Anybody can start a business now, and there are a million tools and entities out there to help them.
Yet, starting a business is the easy part; keeping it afloat is a whole other ballgame. Yes, the internet has changed the marketing industry and made it easier for small companies to have a massive reach, but you need to get a head start first.
People won’t know about your business just by creating a Facebook page. You need exposure through media outlets and bloggers, and this is where a media pitch comes in. This is the first contact you make with those news outlets, and if you land the right one, your business can get off to an excellent start.
These tips will help you create the perfect media pitch.
1Beware of First Impressions
When it comes to something as sensitive and crucial as a media pitch, first impressions are everything. If the media person you’re reaching out get the wrong impression about you, it will be very hard to change it. And news travels fast in that world, so you need to be extremely careful.
Pay attention to the small details like the email you’re reaching out from. It should be the company domain or at least a professional email. You can’t be reaching out to a journalist with an email like “[email protected]”! Chances are, they won’t take you seriously and your pitch will be rejected.
Over the past couple of decades, how we consume content has significantly changed. People began shifting their attention to visual content, and, now, it is the most popular form for users on the internet. Even seasoned journalists would prefer a video brief about your brand rather than an essay.
As explained by these professionals, a good video captures people’s attention, and it can inspire them. A well-made 2-minute video can sell your brand to anyone more easily than any standard media pitch, and it does make a difference in how people perceive your business. It also shows that you put a lot of effort, time, and investment into creating the right image of your brand.
3Choose Your Targets
It is common practice for PR people or marketers to reach out to just about anybody they can get a hold of. They get a list of publications, acquire their emails, and then send the same pitch to everyone. While that approach might work, and it might fetch you a couple of interested parties, it is far from ideal.
You need to be specific about who you target, and that means going after certain journalists rather than publications. When you reach out to a certain target in a publication, you have much higher chances of your pitch being actually viewed, because sending an email to the publication’s email address means it might not even be opened.
But dealing with a journalist directly is more personalized and develops a relationship that could prove to be very fruitful for your business in the future.
4Personalize Your Emails
Make sure your emails are personalized, and not generic. Don’t start off with “dear all” and similar tropes. Get the journalist’s name, and address the email to them. Pro tip: make sure you got their name and position right; making a mistake in either is just asking to have your pitch rejected.
You should also be direct with your emails, and avoid unnecessary pleasantries. Get to the point directly and be concise; journalists don’t have much free time on their hands.
5Finding The Right Angle
This is arguably the most important point of your media pitch. You have to find the right angle that would cater to journalists’ interests in this particular industry. Avoid talking about generic and general points.
Make sure your pitch is interesting and is newsworthy. Journalists want pitches that have the potential of generating a lot of traffic, and if you give them that, then you’ve got their attention. A very good approach is relating your pitch to recent events or a recent story that the journalists have covered.
So, if they wrote a feature about a tech startup in the medical field and you happen to be in the same field, make the connection. Small details like this make all the difference in the world.
6Provide All The Facts
The easier you make the journalists’ lives, the more chances your pitch has of going through. You have to provide all the necessary information in your pitch and spare them having to double-check and search for anything.
If you are making claims about the industry, for instance, provide the stats and reports that support that claim — needless to say, never provide false information.
More importantly, provide all relevant information about your business, from the founders’ names and founding date to the location, team size, goals, current achievements, and anything they might need to know.
The PR and marketing worlds aren’t really for the faint of heart and shy. When it comes to sending a media pitch, how you follow up makes a world of difference. Journalists and media people, in general, can be quite busy.
They might like your pitch, but they won’t necessarily reply instantly because they are busy or got caught up doing something. This is where strong follow-up comes in. This doesn’t mean that you should hound them, not at all. Wait a suitable period of time, and then send an email asking if they need more information or if they even received the pitch.
If possible, call them and inquire on whether or not they are interested. The most important thing in your follow-up, no matter how you choose to do it, is that you be brief and concise. Don’t write a long email or talk too much on the phone.
The more effort and time you put into personalizing and creating the perfect media pitch, the better your chances will be of getting journalists’ attention. They will want to cover your story because you made it too good to ignore.