Back in April, we shared a blog that provided a few pointers for crafting the perfect PR pitch. Since we are wonderful people, we’re back again for round two to share a few more PR tips with you. We understand that public relations can be a bit confusing for those who are not in the communications field, but trust us, it is something that all brands, no matter the size, should consider. Keeping in mind that great PR pitches take practice, creativity, and most importantly, attention to detail, here are a few more key things to keep in mind when writing a pitch:
Get Straight to the Point
Remember, most journalists and producers get hundreds and hundreds of emails every day, it is important to get straight to the point when sending a pitch. Make sure your “ask” (story coverage, setting up an interview, feature piece, etc.) is within the first couple sentences. Members of the media are very busy and will not have time to read several-paragraphs-long fluffy pitches.
A (fake) example of getting right to the “ask”:
Good afternoon, Sally:
Hope your day is going well! I saw your recent piece on the safety of the swings at Ada Park and wanted to reach out today to see if you might be interested in setting up an interview with Regina Phalange, Head Swing Set Safety Officer for Grand Rapids? We think her insight on the issue would be great for any follow-up pieces you are working on.
More info on Regina Phalange and why she is the expert.
Thank you for your consideration, Sally! Please let me know if you are interested and I would be happy to coordinate the interview. Look forward to hearing from you.
Include All of the Necessary Information
Make sure that any pitch you send has all of the details that a journalist or producer would need to work on a story. We will say it again – press members get A LOT of emails, so it is important to make sure you provide all the tools they will need the first time you reach out. More importantly, make sure that all of the information in the pitch is correct. You do not want to have to go back and forth correcting someone’s story because of a mistake you made. Trust us.
A (fake) example of providing all of the right information:
The upcoming Fake Event, that is open to the general public, will be taking place on Wednesday, March 34th from 4:00pm to 7:00pm at 1234 East Beltline. Parking is available on the side of the building, or through a valet service in front. Here is a link to the event website with further information: www.fakeevent.com and here is a dropbox link with high-res images that can be used to promote the event: www.dropbox.com/fakeeventphotos.
If you would like to speak with any event representatives, please contact me directly. Let me know if there is any other information you may need for your coverage. Thank you so much for your consideration, Marvin!
Be Nice (Remember your P’s & Q’s)
It is no secret that publicists are busy people, and sometimes, because they are humans too, they will get stressed or overwhelmed.
However, it is important to always be nice to the press you are pitching. Members of the media are also dealing with similar job stresses, and it will make the whole process a bit easier if you remember to say “please,” and “thank you.” It is also important to thank the press after the earned media you have secured finally publishes. Let them know that you appreciated their efforts, you enjoyed working with them (if you did), and you hope to work with them again in the future. Public relations is all about building relationships, and relationships are not built on bad attitudes.
We said it before, and we will say it again: media pitching is not just blasting a press release to a BCC’ed list of 60 press members. It takes time, attention to detail, patience, and humility. If you are just now realizing how much effort goes into public relations and know it is something your team can’t handle yourselves, feel free to give us a call! We are the pros and we know how to help.