When we sit down with clients, one of the first things we hear is some version of “We want media to recognize who we are, what we do and what we offer our customers. What we do is important, and people need to know about it.”
Those are noble ambitions and we agree with that objective.
However, the biggest challenge to attracting media attention is that everyone wants recognition. And by everyone, we mean all products and services in virtually every category. In other words, your product or service competes with everyone and everything in the world for attention.
Our job is to drill down and find out what really makes you unique and how to project that unique attribute to the media. And that leads to pitching – contacting media on a one-to-one basis to let them know how and why you stand out.
Pitching differs completely from simply issuing press releases.
The information within press release stands on its own. If the information is newsworthy, a press release will serve as an effective and useful means of generating news.
Press releases, however, are impersonal. They do not necessarily lead to or promote in-depth or feature coverage about your product or service.
A more tried-and-true method of using your information to achieve greater coverage about you is pitching, which means calling or meeting one-on-one with relevant news sources.
A pitch is a description of a story idea (and why it should matter) to an editor or reporter. A pitch can be delivered over-the-phone or sent via email. It should be crafted to appeal to both reporters and the editors they serve. And, importantly, it should be short and to the point.
Unique and compelling media pitches can lead to coverage that goes far beyond what a press release can provide. Small businesses, in particular, can gain a greater exposure and a larger audience by enabling their public relations team to conduct aggressive pitching.
The benefits of pitching
Media pitching provides three key benefits.
First, pitching provides information tailored for particular media outlets. It serves up news about you that is relevant to their audience. Pitching allows your PR team to raise and answer the question “Here’s why this is important news for you and your audience.”
Second, pitching allows your public relations team to identify what kinds of stories media outlets are seeking. Knowing what media are looking for is valuable information and provides insights into how your information can be employed to answer that need.
Creating real relationships with reporters, bloggers and journalists is invaluable to anyone in the business world. But to build those real relationships you need to be genuine and think more of their needs than your own.
Like everyone else, reporters only have 24 hours in a day, and they’re looking out for their own interests. They want to write about things they are interested in and that will drive lots of traffic and get them paid.
Reason number three: the human dimension
The third reason pitches are effective is that they provide editors and reporters with an actual name and face they can call upon as a reliable, informed source. They create real relationships between you and the media.
When media need someone to comment on a particular story or seek background or clarification on story, they inevitably rely on sources they know, recognize and respect. This kind of relationship often results from having previously presented a newsworthy pitch.
Pitching is a key part of establishing and maintaining those kind of relationships.
So, who actually does the pitching?
The reality is that you simply don’t have time to pitch the media. If that were the case, you would already be talking with them.
The solution is to rely on your PR team to identify which media make most sense for you and which stories make the most sense to the media and then turn your PR team loose to pitch, pitch and pitch some more.
Generating results from pitches can take time, but the results can exceed expectations and have an enormously favorable impact on what you market.
Call us and let us pitch you
Want to get acquainted with our pitch? Call or email me (407-339-0879 or firstname.lastname@example.org) and tell me the kinds of stories you want others to know. Let us listen to your story and share with you how we can go about expanding the kind of marketing-oriented, ongoing news coverage you seek.