5 rules for those new to PR: how to pitch media and sell stories?
You don't become PR specialist overnight. It takes times and experience to learn how to pitch media with nice stories. Here a few guidelines that will make it easier on you.
1. Providing value
Think about it. You are a reporter. Every day you receive tones of emails with press releases attached inviting you to cover news. How do you filter it all?
Reporters care about one thing more than any other: value. If your press release is likely to bring value to their readers, chances are high that the article will be published.
It is now for you to find out what about your company would be worth sharing and bring value to potential readers.
Don't continuously pitch media with worthless news (tiny change on a product, new CEO, new app update, new website...) unless it really impacts the market and is worth knowing.
2. Creating stories
It isn't always easy to write an article that people will enjoy reading.
PR doesn't have to be boring. If you can write interesting stories with an imaginative angle, you will make the reporter's life much easier and your story way more appealing.
Try to be creative and put yourself in a reader's shoes when writing your story.
3. Building a media list
The first time you wish to talk to media won't be easy. You will have to curate websites and talk to your network to find the right people to talk to.
Overtime, the task will become easier and easier as you will have more and more contacts. What matters however is to keep a clear list.
With an excel file for example, you could record name and contact info of all reporters you have already contacted. Try to indicate the type of publication they work for and whether they ever published something about you or not.
This list will quickly become your holy grail, build it well!
4. Pitching the right media
Do you know the difference between targeted email and mass mailing? With the first one you can expect return on investment. With the second you should expect to be categorized as a spammer.
Same concept applies to media: pitching ONLY the right people is the efficient approach.
If you have some financial news (let's say you've got some new investors), try and pitch financial publications.
If you wish to reach a larger audience, build a story around this investment that will then show values to readers of other types of media.
Don't simply send the same email to everyone in your contact list: people will stop paying attention to your emails if you do that. Instead, write a personal email to each person you contact - chances that they will read it and act upon it will be much higher!
5. Building relationship
This should be common sense but it is always worth reminding it: build strong relationships.
Don't just contact media when you need them. Keep in touch with these reporters you have good relationship with and send them info from time to time. Give exclusivity to people you might build long term relationship with.
Try to see beyond your "PR week": if you wish your next story to be published, you might want to make sure reporters like you!
And get ready: "how to prepare for a media interview?"
With this short overview of the 5 milestones of proper PR handling you should have all you need to start handling story pitching and media relationship! If you have questions, comments, or wish to share your own experience, don't hesitate leaving a message below! If you need a powerful template to track your PR efforts, I can only recommend this Media Coverage Measurement template.
Next, you might want to see how to get your story out without the help of media by mastering words of mouth.
Last update: 2023-03-26 Tags: pr media story interview pitch