From a former reporter, how to be pitch perfect

Written for SPAN Enterprises

When you are working company PR, getting a publication to write about your business, product, or event may seem like an impossible feat. The media seems so alluring and mysterious, veiled behind a screen or the glossy pages of a magazine. It may be hard to imagine how to draw in their attention without dire or glamorous circumstances, but it doesn’t have to be that way.

You see, I have crossed the divide, and I’m forging a new path.

Having worked as a reporter and I am now settling into my new role as a communications manager at SPAN, I carry both perspectives in mind. I remember receiving press releases and emails that either urged me to “sale” something for them OR bored me to sleep. Neither considering my audience or the message I needed to convey.

In order to get your brand published, you have to step outside your own perspective. You have to consider your message and how it relates to the reporter’s readers, and then, pitch it accordingly.

First, narrow down your goal for getting published. What are you trying to achieve with the publication? What is your message? A new product? Or new team leadership? Have a clear vision of the company’s message, because a generic company feature isn’t feasible without some sort of unique angle.

Next, research publications that have already written about similar subjects. Whether it’s a trade magazine, local or national newspaper or e-magazine, become familiar with what’s out there and how it relates to your business and message.

Once you’ve narrowed down a few potential pubs, try to hone in on a specific reporter or editor who may be interested in your pitch. Look for similar stories to find the right person, and then, review other stories they’ve written. This will help you argue how your pitch relates to but stands out compared to other articles they’ve published.

Then, work on writing a personalized email pitch that conveys your message through the lens of the paper while also focusing on the benefit of the end reader. Think about the publication’s goal.

Is it to inform the general local public about stories that affect their lives and businesses?

Is it going to be read by CEOs who care about leadership goals, macro and micro economics, and business trends?

Is it tech-focused, only publishing the latest IT developments?

Use this frame of reference when explaining why they should want to publish a story about your company. Also, it’s very important to answer all the main points surrounding the initial company message. Again, think like a reporter and follow the who, what, when, how, and why. Your goal is to make it easy for them to write the story by giving them everything they need upfront.

Last, review your email (bad grammar reads as unprofessional!) and attach a generic press release (with quotes). Send it off and with a little patience and persistence, your story might get picked up.

Remember, the best pitches reflect a combination of your company’s message, the reporter’s intentions, and the reader’s needs. Pull this together while adhering to professional etiquette and your company will gain the right attention.

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This entry was posted in Brand Journalism, Business, SPAN Enterprises and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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