Pitching to media

The Art of the Pitch: 5 Tips for Success

How many emails do you get per day that start, “Can you spare 10 minutes for a conversation about (fill in the blank)?”

The topic may not even be relevant to you because the salesperson never bothered to learn what your company does or how what they’re pitching will help your business. These pitches are cookie cutter and impersonal, and often not successful.

As PR professionals, there is a lot to take away from this type of generic pitch. To be successful, it’s vital you know how to capture your media contacts’ interest. How can you help the editor, reporter, or producer make their job easier? They are often bombarded by hundreds of pitches from publicists (never mind the pesky emails from lazy sales representatives).

The good news is, the media always needs more news and information. The key is to research before you pitch. Try these five tips for successful media pitches:

  1. Do your homework. Learn whatever you can about the contact, their interests and beat, and recent work that relates to your client.

  2. Always start by addressing your media contact’s needs. Media contacts always need more readers, viewers, and/or more followers. Make it clear how what you’re pitching will help them meet their needs.

  3. Keep it short, sweet and on point. There is no need for a detailed novel when you are first reaching out about a story. Make your point obvious. Your contact will thank you for it later.

  4. Try picking up the phone. Yes, this is now considered an “old school” technique. The telephone is still an ideal tool for pitching. When the media contact hears your voice, there’s a real connection.

  5. Keep your relationship going. Once you establish a relationship, keep it going, even if it’s just to periodically say hello.

To take your pitch to the next level, find out what the media contact’s hot buttons are, what will intrigue him or her, and fashion your pitch accordingly. A little flattery doesn’t hurt either. This is easier than it sounds, given all the online resources available to gather intelligence.

Overall, pitches have to be presented correctly, otherwise you’re just a nuisance. That means drilling down to determine what the media contact needs. Thus, your pitch should explain in the very first sentence or two why what you have is superior to everything else other publicists are offering. The worst thing that can happen is the contact passes, but he or she will remember you.

At KEF Media, our team has varied backgrounds — including newsroom experience. Why is this important? Because they were once the ones reading the emails, deciding which pitch to move forward with and which pitch should be deleted. We know how to craft a message to capture appropriate attention, so your message reaches the right audience. Ready to start planning your next media tour? Contact us today.