You can find dozens of golden tips out there suggesting how to write a perfect story using catchy titles that quickly draw readers’ attention. However, getting the story right is one part of the job; the other – which is equally as important – is to understand why the media should consider publishing it. At ABI, a Finn Partners Company, our staff is comprised of talented, savvy professionals of varied backgrounds in marketing, public relations, journalism, media and communications. As you might assume, our former journalists on staff automatically recognize the importance of a strong, relevant pitch. However, despite an ABIer’s professional history, one thing we all have in common and emphasize when conducting media relations, is to know your audience (the media) and what the audience’s audience (the media’s readers) want from you (and your client!).
Below are a few key points you should consider before kicking off media relations.
Without a doubt, well-written content is a key ingredient for a successful pitch. Journalists are experts at creating comprehensive stories that strike at the heart of readers’ interests and/or concerns. Their tendency to identify the most interesting and important angle can take the most technical content from dry to dynamic. Therefore, aim to generate content that promotes client brands in new ways that create value for your journalist friends’ readers. In today’s day and age, you should also consider that content might have different format requirements, including for social media, blogs and facets of automated marketing.
Before you send your story on its way, be sure to select the right publications and correct channels. There is nothing worse than sending a story to an editor who will have no interest in the chosen topic; you basically waste time on both ends! Moreover, to secure high-quality coverage, you must be sensitive to the journalist’s deadlines and industry events that might affect proper consideration of your pitch. For example, you wouldn’t pitch a story to an editor knowing he or she is busy attending a major tradeshow or industry event, would you? That strategy may risk losing your pitch in a sea of emails as the reporter’s inbox fills up. Minding the timing demonstrates that you respect and understand that journalists too have long “To-Do” lists.
Once you’ve established yourself as a reliable source of information for the media, keep the momentum going! Journalists appreciate the opportunity to learn more about leads or story ideas that will help them achieve their publication’s goals. But remember to always provide all the information upfront and offer content submissions in ready-to-publish condition. Avoid generating any extra work for journalists, such as typos that require correction, holes in research or missing image captions. By doing the work on your end, you can get your company’s story out there faster and cement the relationship for the future.