How to get media attention for your business, brand, book or product
I often write about media pitching, and for good reason: media pitching the right way can really boost your business. As I wrote recently in 5 ways to optimize your media coverage, knowing your media is the first step. Once you’ve done that, it’s time to take it a step further by digging deeper and really perfecting your pitching efforts.
Here are some best practices to consider:
Spin/pitch and the HUH factor
How you pitch is as important as what you pitch. When it comes to pitching media, less is more, especially for producers who sift through over 1,000 pitches a week. With that in mind, your subject line is often more important than your pitch because it’s what determines whether or not your email is opened. Keep it short and catchy and above all, to the point.
- Save your statements. Cite studies to which you have access, even recent articles to give credibility to your message. Be the expert the media needs.
- Think HUH: trendy, unique and useful. The perfect pitch is still useful, because that’s what the media wants – whether it’s real help, or even inspiration, education or entertainment
- Be brief. Think “above the fold” — your idea should be a single paragraph (or less)! Never send attachments during your first presentation; instead, provide a link to more information. Since most people check email on their phone, consider adding a teaser at the top before the greeting.
The perfect pitch is tied to what’s trending.
The media is always anchored to what is happening right now or what could happen. Whenever there’s a story you can comment on, make sure you have a pitch that’s tight, focused, and ready to go. A great way to get an idea of how the “spin” works is to watch the national news and your local newsstand.
Pitch the right people
Just like we talked about knowing your media, once you’ve found your target outlets, it’s important to feature the right people in each location. Typically, they won’t forward a pitch to the right person, so it’s important to start with the right person. Don’t feature a show host unless they’re also the show’s producer. Also keep in mind that national (and some regional) media is much more formal than a blogger pitch. You need to prove you know your stuff on the ground and tell a full story.
Should you offer several people in the same point of sale?
Typically, no. But if you do, consider telling them you also pitched such-and-such for it at their outlet so no one is caught off guard when they — and several co-workers — present your pitch at a meeting.
Although you shouldn’t be a beast, it’s good to follow up. Don’t say “Did you get my email?” Instead, consider approaching with another pitch and/or updates, new features, or an additional, newsworthy angle. If they don’t respond, don’t be discouraged. While that means they got it and there was no interest, it’s not personal.
Press kits and press releases
Press kits go the way of the dinosaur, and it’s really best not to send a press kit because they usually get thrown away. However, you can upload one to your media room.
As for press releases, they are good as long as you have real news to share. In our world of non-stop news, save your time and news for when you have something really important to announce.
Your media room
A well-designed online newsroom will spice up your website. It’s a great place to store things like your biography, headshot, and any other media you’ve been interviewed or featured in. It might be just a single area of your site, but it’s a one-stop-shop for your media materials and anything an interviewer might want to review (hint: include a list of topics you can talk or comment!).
Finally, to succeed in your pitch, you must be present: blogging, tweeting, networking and sharing your content and ideas. Make yourself attractive and make your online presence a compelling resume. So when the media starts looking for you, they will realize that you are the expert they are looking for! While it’s harder to grab media attention these days, the rewards can be huge once you get into the right rhythm for following best presentation practices. Take the time to perfect your pitch and you’ll likely find that the possibilities are endless.