Donna: Media pitching is one of the best ways to entice journalists, to sell and tell your story and there are ways to get your story in publications for free.
So in today's episode, I wanna share with you a few things that I've come to learn throughout my journey of being in business, that have helped my businesses to grow and become well known.
A media pitch is an offer or a brief of a compelling explanation of a particular issue and news angle or an exclusive story. It's about putting forward, whatever that is and then from there, hopefully landing an interview on the topic.
A media pitch effectively sells a story to a journalist, media pitches are often in the form of an email, although they can be pitch over the phone as well.
If you're gonna be doing this, just remember to keep in mind that journalists can receive hundreds of media pitches a day and so it's critical, that you take the time and the care to craft a media pitch, which is going to be engaging and relevant to the journalist and their publication.
By doing it, it's going to increase the chance of your pitch actually landing and being approved for publication. So I'm gonna share with you some golden rules, which I have used and I have found help you to create a really good pitch and improve your chances of securing an interview with whatever relevant publication you're hoping for.
The first thing is to target a specific audience. It's really important to define your target audience and look into the publications that best cater to this group. Your pitch should be then tailored to the publication that you wanna send it to. So consider what your target audience is interested in and then adapt your pitch accordingly.
The other thing you wanna do is really understand your business. To craft a great pitch, you need to have an in depth understanding of your business and what makes it interesting to your target audience and to the journalist.
It's important to become an expert on the subject matter that you're pitching in, in order to then have the content to be able to create either an article or to have an interview so that you can answer the questions from the journalist on the spot, in saying that you need to do your research.
So this is one of the most important tools to use when creating and sending out media pictures. It's really important that you conduct research into the publications, including the format that they use, their target audience or their readership, the frequency in which that they deliver their, whatever it is, depending upon what kind of media you're looking into and you should also research specific journalists as well. What is it that they write about? What is their reporting style?
Read the journalist articles and check out their social media channels too, because sending a generic pitch is not gonna be appealing to a journalist and remember they get thousands of pitches every day, so it needs to be targeted and it needs to be specific to catch the eye and the engagement of that journalist so they'll go ahead and choose you over everybody else.
You also want it to be newsworthy information. So before sending your pitch ensure that you have a unique, relevant and newsworthy angle, it's important to make your media pitch about the story angle or idea rather than simply sharing information about your company.
You need to stay on top of what's happening within your industry and the industries that you're trying to target, if that's your target market. As this can often lead on to, uh, new and interesting story ideas. So if you are unsure of what angle is most interesting or relevant right now, following the ideas, looking at your business milestones, how does that maybe tie into, uh, current things that are happening around the place?
Is there Christmas or New Year's Day or Mother's Day? Something that you can tie into with award wins. If you've just won an award for your business, that's a real human interest topic. It could include looking inside behind the doors of your business and giving people an understanding of why you won those awards. Perhaps that's something that they can then implement into their own business.
Be concise and engaging. All pictures should be clear, concise and succinct and they shouldn't be longer than three or four paragraphs, which is really tricky to do. It's also important to remember that busy people won't read a long email.
So the paragraph, especially the first paragraph should really clearly outline your main ideas and if you are sending your pitch over email, it's also really important to consider your email subject line. Many journalists won't read past the subject line, if they don't think it's gonna be interesting or relevant to their publication. So if you fail to catch their attention, your pitch is likely to be left unread.
The other thing I wanna encourage you to do is develop relationships with journalists. You may have heard me say this before that part of being a business owner, is about developing relationships and journalists ultimately hold the keys to your business' media coverage.
So in order to cut through the noise and to land a pitch with a journalist, you really need to successfully pitch in an interesting and relevant story angle, as well as build rapport with that journalist.
Remembering that they, as I've said, receive hundreds of emails a day and you don't have time to look at every single email. They don't have time to look at every single email. However, if you've been in previous contact with them, if you have maintained a relationship with them, they're more likely to open an email from you. Opposed to someone that they have no relationship with.
So always be accommodating, always be responsive and helpful to help to build that rapport and familiarity.
It's also important when you're pitching to appear friendly, but also formal. Use the journalist's name and make sure that you spell it correctly. It's not hard to look up somebody's name and make sure that you spelled it correctly. Also don't hold onto your good information and wait for an opportunity before you pitch it.
Tell a journalist straight away and they will either use your information or they'll keep it in mind for the future and they will be super grateful that you're keeping them across all the key information as it arises.
And by following these guidelines, these little tips that I'm giving you and taking care when you're crafting your media pictures, you will put your business in the best possible position to get more coverage in the media.
Now, what if they say no, right? One of the fears when we are pitching, is that well, what if they say no? And the thing is, people are going to say no to you, but the more times you pitch out they're the higher, the chances that someone's eventually gonna say yes to you. So don't stop pitching, if anyone says no to you, just accept it that it's part of the process.
But here are some reasons why journalists may not be interested in your media pitch. It could be about timing. You may have pitched your idea right before a breaking news story. Journalists will then be extremely busy, gathering all the latest information about the breaking news and may not have time for other stories.
And really there's not much you can do about this, except maybe you could repitch your idea, once the breaking news is over, if your pitch is still timely and relevant.
Another reason that they might say no, is because it's been done before. A journalist may have already covered the topic that you've given them. So if your story idea doesn't provide the journalist with a fresh angle, they won't write about the same topic again. So you either have to come up with a fresh angle or hope that they keep you in mind for the next time they write a topic on a similar topic.
Another thing is interest. So each journalist has a preference for the kinds of stories that they're interested in, which is why I mentioned before, get to know what sorts of things that they particular journalists like to write about.
If you're pitching to the media, then it's your job to find out what those interests are and you can do this by reading their articles, by looking at their bio, by finding them on LinkedIn or searching to see if they have a blog and with this information, then you can gain insight into the types of topics and interests that appeal to that journalist.
And that will help you to pitch your ideas in a way that the journalist is likely to say yes, instead of saying no. How can you still get coverage? If your media pitch has been rejected and there are a number of different tactics that you can implement to try and get media coverage with the same pitch.
So here you can pitch it somewhere else, of course, this is an obvious tip, but be sure to personalize the pitch to whoever the new journalist is before sending it out to somebody else. If you send the same pitch to another journalist, but don't update their name, it might be pretty damaging to your relationship and most definitely they're gonna ignore you, make sure that you edit the pitch.
So if the journalist says no, but gives you feedback on why the, the pitch, wasn't interesting to them, take that feedback on board, edit your pitch and send it somewhere else. If you didn't get feedback from the journalist, have a bit of a brainstorm perhaps with a couple of colleagues or a mentor or someone else who you travel within the same business space as you and think about how you can brainstorm some ideas to make it more interesting.
The other thing you can do is target different media. So did you write a pitch with a specific industry in mind? For example, a good one might be for travel. If so, maybe you wanna adapt the pitch to suited journalists from a different industry, such as hospitality or marketing, so you can take the same sort of topic and pitch it to a different industry. That's another way that maybe you can turn a no into a yes.
Another way is to write the story about yourself. So you can write an article or a blog based on the media pitch. Many trade publications are looking for good quality content and will happily apply or happily accept submitted articles, but you could also post the article in your company blog as well, if you have one, so you can use it in a number of different ways to diversify where that is delivered within the world.
And you know, sometimes as hard as you try, you may just have to let the pitch go. You might have originally thought this is gonna really fly. Everyone's gonna wanna take this and run with it and I'm gonna see it published in lots of different places, but sometimes it just doesn't and you just need to accept that perhaps it wasn't the right time or perhaps it wasn't the right topic.
When you're pitching to the media, not everything you do will yield fantastic results, but you need to think of it like a numbers game.
Like I said, a couple of moments ago for every 10 pitches, you might get one or two that say yes, that are picked up and published. It is a strategy for, uh, business advertising and marketing, that requires a lot of effort, because there is that public relations that you need to build up long term commitment with the journalists that you are pitching to.
So my biggest tip is to really work on your relationships with people within the media. So that when you have something that you know is gonna be as of interest to them, you can add some creative thinking and some resourcefulness and get your pitch picked up and get a great big fat yes.
So, I hope that this very quick, concise jampacked session today on the podcast has been really helpful for you. If you are wanting to get more media coverage for your business, I would love your feedback. Please send me a DM or give a review on the podcast to let me know if this episode has really landed for you and if there's any other topics that you feel would be of importance to you, of interest to you, that I can speak to in our future episodes.
Thanks for tuning in today everybody and I will catch you next week for the She's In Business podcast.