When pitching your event, product, or service to the media, there are a lot of things to take into consideration. Just think, you want your story to reach people all over the world! Ok, maybe just across the state, either way the idea is to draw attention to your idea. I gathered expert advice from The Cutting Edge, Forbes, and Monster.com to get you the best information available.
First Things First…Prepare!
Forbes Magazine’s Cheryl Snapp Conner stresses the importance of preparation and advises that when choosing your target audience, do your research. Know their interests. Over half of all reporters interviewed by the Cutting Edge said it was important to them that the person pitching showed knowledge of their past work, interests and strengths. Make sure you pitch your event, product or service to someone it will appeal to and try to look at it from their perspective. Will this product make them shine? Will this event give them the social networking opportunity to help further them in their career? If they think it will work for them, then they will be more apt to work for it. They may even go above and beyond for the cause, because after all, they are benefitting from it as well.
No Fluff Please
Make sure you get straight to the point and don’t waste time, but don’t be too brief either. You want to catch their attention keep their interest. The best pitch is done through email, in fact, 92% of reporters prefer an email pitch to phone or social media, according to the Cutting Edge. Try to stay away from lingo that would be associated with everyday advertising as it tends to be boring to an individual. If your email has a cliché in the subject line, the recipient may pass over your presentation expecting it to contain spam or unappealing content.
Confidence is Key
When pitching in person be straightforward and honest. Try not to come across as muddled or confused and present the idea fluidly and as transparently as possible. Let the interviewer know upfront what it is you wish to convey and what you wish to get out of the meeting itself. While in the meeting try to mention anything positive brought to the idea or created from the idea. This will give the idea of the spectrum of coverage you are looking for and already attempting to reach!
Voicemail…A dead end, or maybe not?
When trying to reach a reporter or others over the phone or online, be sure to pay attention to any clues given in messages or notes. If you get voicemail, don’t hang up, it may tell you whether the reporter is out sick, on vacation or may have moved to a different beat. It can clue you in to things that can be of help to you. If a cell or personal number is left to reach them, try to avoid using them unless absolutely necessary. You should leave business at work and respect their boundaries for privacy. They will respect that so much more.
Be Your Confident, Knowledgeable, Friendly Self to Win the Game
Monster.com wants you to keep your head up. In their article about pitching to the media, they remind us that not every story gets chosen right away. So, keep up the hard work, persevere, and review the websites listed here on how to pitch your story for a lot more detail and ideas. In the end, present your pitch professionally but also as you would to a friend. Try not to make the recipient feel out of place or uncomfortable. Speak to them as if they were a friend in a tone that is comfortable. Be confident and clear as you express your ideas with the excitement you have for them. You will have the media coverage you long for in no time with these tips!