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3 ways to ace your next media pitch

by | Aug 11, 2015 | Public Relations, Social Media, Traditional Media

With the Internet and social media providing the opportunity for complete strangers to become best of friends, the importance placed on relationship-building through digital channels—especially in media relations—is at an all-time high.

Social media and online news have provided PR professionals with a data goldmine; the ability to  find out who is writing in a targeted industry, discover what they’re writing about, and develop and cultivate relationships with these writers in real-time. This gives PR professionals all the information they need to create a perfectly tailored pitch for their journalistic counterparts.

Despite this, some PR professionals continue to send the exact same pitch to every selected journalist and media contact in their repertoire, and still expect their story to be picked up. Or worse yet, they blindly pitch stories that aren’t relevant even relevant to these journalists.

Every day, journalists’ inboxes are swarmed by pitches, each one looking to earn more coveted media coverage than the next.  Last year, Anthony Ha from TechCrunch told BuzzSumo that he receives “…around 80 [emails] to my personal account… and several hundred sent to tips@techcrunch.com…”

In the sea of buzzword-filled, look-at-me pitches, how can you make yours really stand out?

Media monitoring and analysis can help you identify which writers you should be reaching out to and how to connect with them more effectively.

Find out who is influencing your space

By using media monitoring and specific keywords related to your industry, you can understand exactly which journalists and publications provide the most coverage for your company (or companies similar to yours).

You can use this information to compile an accurate, targeted media list. There’s no point of pitching journalists that don’t even cover your industry or topics related to your business, right?

Learn how media databases can help you find the media contacts your looking for.
Read Media Databases: The Ultimate Guide.

Uncover what they’re writing about

Once you have your media list, you can further analyze each contact:

Are they freelance journalists?

Do they have a featured column?

Do they also write their own industry blog?

What topics do they cover most often, and are there specific niches within the industry that they focus on?

What was their last article published about?

When was their last article published?

Which article recently published has been their most popular?

By doing your research, you’ll be more prepared and informed about the person you’re pitching to. This will not only show the prospective journalist or blogger that you have a genuine interest in them as a writer, but also that your story is relevant and a good fit for them.

Dig a little deeper

By monitoring your contact list on social media, you can have a better understanding of who they are as a person, outside of their journalistic pursuits. Follow them on whichever social media they frequent most, engage with them, and interact with their content. Have insight into a story they’re working on? Send it to them.

Build a relationship on a personal level with these journalists.  That way, you and your company are more likely to stand out when you’ve finished your finely-tuned pitch.

Using media monitoring and analysis to research your media outreach contacts ensures that your pitches are more informed, precise and personalized. You’ll stand out as a stellar communications professional to the media, and you’re also more likely to see an increase in your media coverage.

 

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Sara Chisholm

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