Wouldn't it be great if there was a way to create a perfect PR pitch -- a pitch that was guaranteed to attract journalists every time?
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Unfortunately, that's not how it works. Great pitches don't automatically lead to front page news stories.
However, bad pitches never lead to news stories. And the difference between a bad pitch and a great pitch is often the strategy you use to present it to journalists.
Here are a few PR pitching tips that will make your PR pitches more effective:
- Offer exclusive rights to the story. The offer of exclusive story rights can sometimes be used as an enticement for journalists. Exclusive rights won't save a boring story concept, but if you have an interesting pitch they can seal the deal or secure an article with a larger media outlet.
- Think narrow, not wide. Don't distribute your pitch to as many media contacts as possible in the hope that something will eventually stick. A better approach is to narrow your focus down to a handful of targeted media contacts and throw everything you have into successfully pitching them.
- Offer a benefit. Journalists like pitches that make their jobs a little easier. If your pitch or story idea offers a benefit (e.g. the ability to drive online traffic to the stories webpage), journalists are more likely to run it as a news piece.
- Establish pre-existing relationships. The right time to make contact with targeted journalists is before you're ready to pitch them. Get in touch with strategic media contacts weeks (or even months) in advance. Tell them what you're thinking about and ask them to describe the kinds of stories they're interested in running.
- Tie the pitch to an upcoming news item. You might be able to tie your pitch to an upcoming news event or angle it to piggyback on a larger story concept. For example, if your town is about to announce the development of a new bus terminal, you could pitch the media about a story that discusses the impact of the new terminal on local businesses.
- Pitch solutions, not products. Journalists have a knack for smelling marketing propaganda and veiled product placements a mile away. If your pitch centers around the promotion of a specific product or product line, it probably won't be very appealing for journalists. Instead, focus your pitch on the problem it solves for its customers. "ABC Restaurant Now Sells Subs," isn't nearly as good a pitch as "Local Diners Demand More Portable Menu Items."