Telling a client story is not the hard part, it’s getting it told that’s difficult.
I’ve spent more than 25 years building GLA Communications, a New Jersey PR firm, by creating programs that deliver and by getting media coverage that makes clients happy. That kind of success, however, has come with more than a few important “lessons” along the way. So, when it comes to pitching a product or story, I’ve learned a thing or two about what works and what doesn’t.
Here are a few do’s and dont’s to keep in mind.
1. It sounds basic, but do your homework. Don’t simply call or email a reporter or producer you’ve discovered in the research databases. Read their articles or posts to make sure they actually cover the product, topic or type of company you are pitching.
2. On the phone, don’t work from a script or read from a release. Be authentic and conversational. Keep it short and sweet. If you are sending an email edit, edit, edit for accuracy, typos and conciseness.
3. Lastly, make it relevant to what’s going on now, not what was interesting last month or last year. Your job is to make their job easier. Most media outlets won’t even respond to your pitch if it’s too generic. Tie your pitch into another timely article or feature to make sure they understand the context, and why your contribution enhances the topic.
If you do your homework and pay attention to what the media is looking for, you will have a much greater chance of success.