“7 Ways to Separate Yourself From the Pack When Pitching the Media”

7 02 2012

Arthur Solomon, of PRNewsOnline.com recently wrote and article about pitching to the media.  Some of the tips he mentioned were

  1. It’s easier to get direct e-mail addresses or the name of the correct person to pitch if you call news desks late at night or on weekends, when the gatekeepers are gone.
  2. Despite conventional advice, don’t limit your pitch to only a subject line. Write two or three (or even four or more) detailed graphs that fully explains your story. (I’ve been in the PR business for a long time, and previously was a reporter and editor. I have never been told that my pitches are too long. Why? I always target the proper individual and draft my pitches as if I was still a journalist so the person on the receiving side can see how a story might flow.)
  3. When attempting to place a photograph don’t waste time by trying to write a short, cute caption. It’s not the caption; it’s the image that counts. Just give the editor an interesting photo with detailed information. They can write their own captions (and they’re probably better at it than you are).
  4. Many account people disregard TV outlets if they don’t have strong visuals to accompany a story. That’s wrong thinking. The strength of a story is the most important element. Visuals can always be worked out with a segment producer; also, many interviews are nothing more than the much-maligned talking heads, which is often a no-no according to teachers of public relations.
  5. Never approach assignment editors with a straight story pitch, unless you have a “must use, can’t miss” story. Always have a few different story angles that you can throw out to the editor.
  6. Think broadly. Explain why your story fits into a larger news picture. For example, if you’re pitching a shoe company’s new line, think of proper foot care; for a financial institution, household money management; for a health-related product, stress the importance of proper use of all products, not just the one you’re pitching; for a sports-related product, how to limit injuries because of weather conditions. If your story is strong enough, most likely you’ll get your own segment. If it’s a weak story, giving various options can make it usable. Editors and producers appreciate when you provide various options. That’s how you make media friends.
  7. Extend the shelf life of your story by thinking long term and suggesting feature as well as hard news angles.

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To see the full article go to:  http://www.prnewsonline.com/prinsiders/7-Ways-to-Separate-Yourself-From-the-Pack-When-Pitching-the-Media_15983.html

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