Pitching media: Consumer versus B2B pubs—what’s the same, what’s different?

Published October 20, 2015 8:51 pm by LoSasso
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At LoSasso, we are tasked everyday with pitching for our clients, and while most play in the B2B publications, we do have to pitch consumer outlets every now and again. Beyond that, LoSasso’s PR professionals here have worked on some major consumer brands in the past and have picked up a lot of learnings along the way.

Here are just a few things we find that the major consumer outlets and the niche B2B pubs have in common—and where they differ.

Some similarities

 

  • All journalists want you to pitch a story—not the product or event specifically. You have to lead with why their readers—or anyone—would care. Also, pitch like it’s already a story, not just an idea for a story.
  • You must do your research on what beat they cover. This is especially important for consumer pubs where there tend to be a lot more beats, but it goes for B2B as well. In general, before you pitch, you must be familiar with the publication and journalist. Spamming is never welcome.
  • Every editor wants a good visual. Offering to send an image or video is critical. In any form of media today, you need more than a compelling story. You need a visual that tells the story or draws readers/viewers in.
  • The vast majority of media companies and journalists have a social media presence. Most journalists we’ve met do not like being pitched on these platforms publically. Direct message, maybe. However, when you get coverage make sure to post, tweet and blog about it! The journalist will appreciate that you are promoting extra eyes on his/her story.

Differences

 

  • With consumer, the emphasis of your pitch is how this affects the mass public. B2B is much more product and process focused.
  • Consumer pubs will value exclusives. Consumer media outlets are fiercely competitive. Pitch them something no one has seen anywhere else and offer the exclusive. Consumer pubs also value timeliness above all else. With B2B, it may be a months before your story or press release hits.
  • It’s likely that if you are pitching a niche B2B pub, you represent a client that plays in that industry. Therefore, the editors are probably going to be interested in what you have to share. To that end, they tend to be a little more friendly and patient. However, this is only if your client is very relevant to them, which you should know by doing your homework. But you can use this to your advantage and bounce ideas off them or pitch them every few weeks on some top-line news/product items.
  • You can’t expect coverage just because you are an advertiser, but with B2B, sometimes it helps to pitch the story to the advertising department. The advertising reps want to know what news is coming from their clients or potential clients and they can be an extra hand passing along the information to the editor. They sometimes will also give you the scoop if the editor you are trying to reach is bogged down, or only interested in a certain topic at the moment.

Again, these are just SOME of the tips we’ve picked up along the way. What are your pitch tips for consumer or B2B media?