The Gong Blog

3 Tips for Pitching Journalists [VIDEO]

In our latest video, I give a brief overview and tips for pitching your story to the media. You can watch the video above and find a transcript below. At the end, you’ll see a link to download our eBook on Earned, Owned and Paid PR where we delve a little deeper into the practice of media relations and how it fits into a full PR program.

Transcript of 3 Tips for Pitching Journalists Video

Hi, my name is Sean Ryan. I’m the vice president of media relations here at the Hodges Partnership and today we’re going to talk about pitching the media. There are few things that you definitely want to do when you pitch the media.

The first thing that you really want to do, before you actually get to pitching the media, is take the time to research your media. What that means is that there are five of us PR folks compared to every one media member, so we want to make sure that we take the time to identify the right person, the right outlet, do your research and find out what the reporter is looking for before you even think about putting together a pitch. Actually, when you get to the pitch, what you want to identify as a few different things as well.

First, one of the things you need to do is keep your pitch short and simple. We want to avoid jargon at all costs. We want to talk to the reporter and identify why we have a story, but we have to keep it short. Reporters are getting inundated with hundreds and hundreds of emails per day, and they simply don’t have time to look through a long 300-400 word pitch about how great your company is. Keep it short, keep it simple, and that will give you the best opportunity to get your email read and hopefully start a conversation with that reporter.

The second thing that you’re going to want to do when you’re pitching is to avoid blasting hundreds and hundreds of reporters at the same time. You want to make your pitch as personal as possible. One way of doing this is by actually reading what that reporter has been working on, what the outlet has been covering. You don’t want to send something that’s very impersonal to someone and not really know who you’re pitching or why you’re even pitching them. Reporters get hundreds and hundreds of emails from PR folks like us every day and you really want to try to stand out and one way of doing that is proving to them that you actually have taken the time to read what they work on.

And a third tip is to cater your pitch appropriately. You want to make sure that you’re sending the right pitch to the right outlet at the right time. For instance if you’re pitching the TV broadcast media, make sure you have visuals in mind. Know what you’re going to offer them so that they can come out and get a good shot. If you’re pitching the print media might be will be a little bit longer in your pitch, and get into a little bit more detail. You need to think of this is an introduction for what you’re trying to pitch them, so that you can pique their interest, so they might want to come back for more. It’s really important when pitching to put yourself in the reporter shoes. You’re really trying to predict what they’re looking for and what they want.

I like to think of it sometimes like speed dating in that there’s 300 or 400 PR people all trying to get the attention of that one reporter. How are you going to stand out? One way when doing it through the emails is to be short, be brief, be concise and make sure that you’re making your point as quickly as possible. That’s one way that you can stand out and give yourself a better chance of being seen.

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POSTED IN: Media Relations

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