October 6, 2010 1 Comment
In a previous article I listed five secrets to pitching the media. Those work. Give them a try. But there are a variety of different ways to interest producers and editors. Remember your job is to meet the media’s needs; to give them stories that talk directly to their readers, listeners or viewers.
When pitching, put yourself in the place of the editor or producer you’re pitching. Before you pitch a story to Vogue, the Wall Street Journal, the Today Show or the local media, figure out what stories they’re looking for as opposed to simply concentrating on the stories you want to pitch. Remember they are looking for new and unique angles that will interest their audience.
Develop your primary story: Your basic story may well stay somewhat the same, but you need to modify the pitch to meet the needs of each magazine, newspaper, radio show and TV outlet. Develop a number of secondary pitch ideas
If you work it right, you can position it so that they need you and your story ideas as much as you need you need them. When crafting your media pitch don’t limit yourself to one angle or approach. Develop a mix of story ideas. Some of your pitches might be serious; others might be fun or lighthearted. The following are six more PR secrets to placing stories in the media.
1) Position yourself as an expert. For example, if you’re an attorney and a legal case is in the news, you can position yourself as an expert to discuss the case or the issues. You don’t have to be one of the attorneys directly involved in the case. What you need to do is present yourself as an expert who can address the topic.
2) Find a strong local, human interest-oriented angle to your story. When pitching the local media, keep the emphasis on the word “local.” If you’re a hometown gal or guy that has created a new product or service, talk about your roots to the city or the community. Bring the local angle and flavor to your story.
3) Always keep in mind that you don’t want to pitch your product or service to the media; you want to pitch the outcome and the benefits. For example, if you’re a physician, don’t pitch your expertise, pitch a patient story that the media can follow. Give them a story.
4) Develop an underdog story, one where you beat the odds and won. Everyone roots for the underdog and those types of stories have a great narrative. You’re able to tell a full story complete with the problem, the journey and the ultimate overcoming-the-odds conclusion.
5) Disagree with a popular point of view. Embrace controversy. Explain why all the experts are wrong.
6) Use opposites: men versus women, teenager versus adults, Midwesterners vs. west coasters, suburbanites vs. city dwellers, etc.
Have fun with your pitch ideas. Be creative and remember, if you meet the media’s needs – you’ll always meet yours.
Copyright © Anthony Mora 2010