As a fully integrated marketing agency, Trilix understands that having a strong brand is a key element in keeping clients competitive in the marketplace. And media relations is an essential component to brand development, as it allows companies to connect directly with consumers through the news. Communications Manager Abby Bottenfield knows the importance of crafting effective media pitches to support clients’ media relations efforts. Here are some of her favorite tips for developing effective media pitches.
1. Focus on building relationships. If you know you will be contacting a certain reporter on a regular basis, get to know them. And, most importantly, be sure that they know you and recognize your name when it pops up in their inbox. Make time for face-to-face meetings with the reporter(s). Reach out to see if you can be helpful for any stories they’re working on. Kindness is important, and when the reporter knows you’re a good resource, they’ll be more comfortable coming to you for stories and more responsive to your pitches.
2. Do your homework. Before you make your pitch, spend time researching the reporter and media outlet. See if the reporter has other articles on the topic or what topics and key words are trending with the media at the time. Mention to the reporter that you enjoyed their article, and cite facts and quotes from it to show your interest in their work. Follow them on social media to see what they’re working on or if they might be at an event near your client. Always look for ways to get to know the reporter and the media outlet to make your pitch relevant to the times and their editorial calendar.
3. Get creative. Like you, reporters are busy, and they likely receive several media pitches daily. To ensure your pitch stands out from the others, you need to get creative. Use a captivating subject line and make your opening sentence stand out. You want to keep the reporter intrigued from the beginning so that they don’t look past your pitch or stop reading it mid-sentence.
4. Time it right. Will sending a media pitch at 4:00 p.m. on a Friday get you into the Wall Street Journal? Chances are slim. Timing is key to successfully selling your pitch. If you’re sending an email pitch, think about when you normally check your work emails, and time your pitch accordingly. If you’re pitching to a broadcast station, keep the news schedule in mind. Getting your story in front of a reporter at the right time improves your odds of getting the story picked up.
5. Be patient. Don’t be pushy. Reporters won’t appreciate constant email follow-up and phone calls several times a day to check in. While you want to follow-up to ensure they saw your story idea, you should never contact them more than once a day. Be patient, and understand they have other obligations, too.