It’s October, and that means a few things. It’s the best season in the Midwest—election news is posted at a head-spinning rate and everyone is exceptionally busy trying to close out the year strong. For PR pros, this means that more than ever: Your media pitches need to be on point. With human attention spans dropping below that of a goldfish, you need to cut through the clutter before your email gets deleted faster than you can say “Pumpkin Spice Latte.” Wait—even that’s shortened … to PSL!
So, are you tricking or treating your media targets?
Trick: Throwing several different angles at the reporter with some general ideas on how you can support each approach. No hard facts. No news.
Treat: While the above may work if you have a very, very close relationship with the reporter, pitches are better served if you are clear about the ask. Tell the reporter what the story is and why it’s important to his or her audience. Let the reporter suggest other newsworthy angles that come to mind.
Trick: Pitching a great story with no ideas or offers for visuals.
Treat: Pitch the story AND the visual to go with it. Your story might not look that appealing in text, but if you can show a compelling photo, visual or expert, you may earn coverage. Editors know visuals draw readers in. They also help make your story as turnkey as possible. This works best if you describe the visual. Most editors do not like large attachments, unless they ask for it.
Trick: Being impossible to reach after sending your pitch. Sending an email offering an exclusive opportunity or important news item promising more details and then going completely dark. Or, offering an expert that isn’t immediately available.
Treat: Being extremely responsive is half the battle. Give the reporter everything he or she might need and you have a better shot at coverage. If you tweet or post news on social platforms, many editors can gain interest for a story there, so keep an eye on your email or DMs, too.
Want more media relations tips? Check out the difference in pitching consumer vs. trade pubs.