Pitching the media is mainly contacting media outlets that would be potentially interested in your story. Keep in mind the importance of pitching newsworthy information and not just a pitch to sell your products or services. Newspapers, TV stations, etc., don’t really care that much about your business, however, they do care what your business can do for their audience.
When developing your pitch, keep in mind that you know your product or services better than most and you know why you are the expert on the topic, therefore, start there. Write down exactly why you are the expert they need and include specific points. These can be your soundbytes. It helps having these down so when you connect to the story, you make sure to include them.
Next, decide on your audience. Know who you want to target and why it’s a good fit. When you develop your pitch with the audience in mind, it’s easier to sell them because you already know they would have an interest in your products or services.
Now to come up with a topic, it’s important to think your unique angles and be ready to tell why your story is not only relevant, but newsworthy. Can you relate it to an event that is happening in the news now, an upcoming holiday, a problem that you know many are experiencing now (and you have a solution), or even something new that you feel will make a huge difference. Make that connection now between what you offer and what the media is looking for.
Keep in mind that you want to think outside the box. Don’t pitch the same thing that everyone else is pitching. So many do this. Yes, it’s great to pitch or write on a popular topic, but if you say the same ole,’ same ole’ that everyone else is saying, you won’t get far. For example, one of my clients has a parenting book. Just pitching that it’s a new book and all moms need it just doesn’t create interest. However, recently we pitched that with summer coming and moms trying to figure out what to do with the kids for the summer, they need the tips from our book. It worked.
Now that you have ideas for your pitch, let’s go over the basics for writing it. When developing your pitch it’s important to get to the point quickly and lead in with your best stuff. Don’t save the best for last, as it just won’t get read. You need to capture their attention right out of the gate.
In writing your pitch, keep it short and sweet. I will often email my pitches so I add an introductory paragraph or two that summarizes why they would be interested and then add in my press release or article. You can also just send a pitch without a release or article and let the pitch stand-alone. Either way works.
Stay with one general theme and don’t talk about too many topics. One thing many people do is try and include as many ideas in the pitch as they can, thinking that if one idea doesn’t interest them, they might be interested in something else. This can definitely hamper your success, as too much information can sometimes be confusing. Save those next ideas for your next pitch.
Also be cautious of the tone of the pitch. Remember even in pitching you are building relationships. Make sure to keep your tone friendly, yet professional. Also, don’t sound too formal and hard to relate to because as you can imagine that’s not the person they want on the air or in their paper.
Now that you have a little better idea on the basics of pitching, it’s time for you to get busy. First, write down why you an expert on your topic, including some bullet points or soundbytes. Next, decide what current event or newsworthy angle there is now that you can relate to and jot that down. Now that you have the newsworthy topic and why you are the expert for it, get writing utilizing the tools we have provided. Next time we’ll go into more detail on sending out that pitch. Happy Pitching!
Diana Ennen is the President of Virtual Word Publishing, https://virtualwordpublishing.com offering PR and marketing services. She has been featured on Fox Business News, CBS, CNN Radio, USA Today, Woman’s World, Entrepreneur Magazine and so many more. She’s also the author of six books on starting your own business including VA the Series: Become a Highly Successful, Sought After VA, and So You Want to be a Work-at-Home Mom. Contact her at Qvnan@iveghnyjbeqchoyvfuvat.pbz or @dianaennen for a free PR Informational Package.