As any baseball player will tell you, there’s an art to pitching. Learning to throw at just the right speed and curve takes practice, patience, and perseverance.
The same principles apply to the classic media relations tactic that PR practitioners lovingly refer to as media pitching. Whether you’re standing on the mound ready to strike, or dialing into the news desk with the perfect story, you have to be prepared.
So here’s a simple list that will help you put your best foot forward on your next call:
Be Informed – The easiest way to get pick-up on a story is by calling or emailing the right person about the right topic, at the right outlet. Do your research ahead of time.
Once you’ve found the right reporter, get to know their interests by reading past stories they’ve written, see how long they’ve been at that publication, where were they before, etc. Reporters will appreciate the fact that you took the time to do your homework.
Be Attentive – It’s important when pitching a story to be attentive to the reporter’s needs.
Be Creative – Reporters, and everyone else in the world, can tell when you’re reading from a script. So get crafty with your pitch by throwing in a curve ball like asking them how their day is going or comment on a recent story they’ve written before launching into your pitch.
Be Distinctive – Media receive hundreds of emails every day, so before picking up the phone or hitting send, think about what makes your story unique.
Once you have this down, just take a moment to make sure your talking points are in the right order. Grabbing the reporter’s attention in the first few moments is critical; otherwise, you might lose their interest. Try front-loading all the best, quick-hitting, juicy facts, then offer up an interview with your spokesperson for them to get more details.