PR professionals know that their clients measure their success by the number and quality of media relations hits received. This is just how it is and always be. Media coverage is truly the “end all be all.” I know I am always looking for ways to improve my chances of getting clients included in stories.
As I mentioned in a previous post, “Getting Ink”, learning about your clients industry and truly understanding their business was a key element. In this post, I’ll go into a couple of other tactics I learned through a recent media relations event. And no, stalking was not one of them…but it sometimes seems like a good idea.
In the first of a series of twice monthly conference calls on various media-relations topics, Jeff Vance of Sandstorm Media hosted a discussion on how to “Supercharge Your Pitches.” In the call, Jeff gave some insight and tips on how to break through and get your pitches noticed. While there were several tips given, I found the following tips to be the most useful:
- Know Your Reporter – When pitching a reporter at a specific publication, start by searching for their most recent articles to get a feel for their writing style. See if you can pick up on a pattern of their writing style. Does the reporter write about controversial topics? Is he/she very technology focused? Do they like to use anecdotes to make a point? Take notice of these things and then try to incorporate them into your pitch.
- Most Popular Articles – Along the same lines as the point above, take a look at the most read or most popular articles on a publication’s website. Many of the publications call out those popular articles out and again, you can take a cue from the topics and writing style to see what is resonating with the publication’s audience. Jeff noted that if your client could have fit into an article that has already been published, then just pitch a new idea on the same topic. The key word being new. The publication will certainly want to continue to write about popular topics so if your client fits, just come up with a new angle.
- Build A Relationship Through Twitter – Many reporters are on Twitter nowadays so Jeff suggested to follow them to make sure you’re staying in the know about what they are discussing. You might also see that they enjoy kayaking or that they are an avid Braves fan. This information can help you to personalize your pitches to help cut through the noise.
There is no magic formula for getting media coverage (If there was I would be all over that) so instead PR professionals need to continue to evolve with how the industry is changing. Reporters are no long reliant on having news “pushed” to them. They can pretty much search for anything that will help them with a story. Hopefully, these tips will help you come up in that search.