4 (more) Secrets to Developing the Perfect PR Pitch

You might have a great story, but if you don’t know how to present it, you’re not going to grab the media’s attention.  Remember what seems like a great story for you might not seem that way to the media.  Building a great pitch for a TV segment or magazine article takes some time, thought and creativity.  Have fun with this process.  Give it some time and you just might uncover some hidden gems that will launch your PR campaign.

Before you approach the media, study and review the press release or pitch you’re going to be using.  Again, simply because it looks good to you doesn’t mean it will resonate with the media.  Keep working on and refining your pitch with the focus on how it will meet the media’s needs.

1. Debunking a myth:

If there are certain preconceived ideas in your industry, or surrounding the topic you’ll be pitching, focus on those and pitch a story around how those myths or preconceived ideas are wrong.  For example, if you’re in the fitness industry, come up with some points that debunk some commonly held misconceptions about working out or losing weight.  Present yourself as the expert who can set the record straight and  educate the public.

2. Comment on a national issue:

If there is a story being covered in the media, or if there is a particular topic that is being discussed that you can comment on do so.  For example, if you are an attorney and there is a particular legal case that is in the news, or if there is an issue or topic that is being discussed that you can address, pitch yourself as an expert in the field who can clarify and explain the topic.  Perhaps take a side and explain why the other side is wrong.  Make sure to explain why you are the expert to address this topic.

3. Seasonal Stories

The media always covers season stories.  It has to.  Whether the story has to do with the Christmas holidays, or summer, these are stories that are covered every year.  Find a way to pitch yourself or your product as a part of one of those stories.  For example if you own a beauty salon, or a cosmetic company, you can pitch a “new look for the new year” New Years story.

4. Your journey.

Often the best and most compelling stories are those that tell the story of your journey.  We’ve worked with a wide range of clients from filmmakers to physicians, and in almost every case the story of how the client developed his or her business, created the product, or started the service, served us well.  The media and people in general gravitate towards human interest stories that show how someone overcame odds to achieve a dream.

Keep all of these approaches in mind when you’re putting together your list of stories to pitch to the media.  Remember this is not a one-size-fits-all type of campaign.  Shift your pitch to match the needs of the particular media you’re going to be contacting.  Let the media know why your story works for them.  Keep your pitch short and to the point.  Present your story as a news segment, not as a pitch.  These tips work, so be prepared.

Copyright © Anthony Mora 2010

 

 

How To Revitalize and Transform Your Business

When you first launch a business you jump in with the excitement of starting a new romantic relationship.  It’s new, exciting, the possibilities are endless.  You throw all of your time effort and creativity into it.  You stay up late and wake up early.  You eat, drink and sleep your business.  As your business grows and the newness fades, the excitement can begin to wane.  Whether your business is on a success track or on stale mode, the sameness of the process can cause your excitement to fade, the energy to ebb, and the overall process to come to a virtual standstill.  It’s time to revitalize your business, your outlook and your approach.

In life, change is the one constant; the problem is that most people hate change.  They resist it and do everything they can to stay with the status quo.  But for businesses to remain competitive they must grow, transform and adjust.  The problem is knowing exactly what adjustments are the ones to make.  Change for change’s sake can often be more disastrous than rigidly staying in place.  When it comes to figuring out what changes you need to make, look to the marketplace; your target audience can be your best ally.  The market’s needs will let you know what business opportunities are out there. Often when change happens in a marketplace, companies and business owners go into panic mode.  It can be a daunting time for many businesses.  Look at the music, publishing and DVD arenas.  Seismic changes in those fields are causing businesses to falter and in many cases go under.

If you don’t get into a mindset of change, you could remain stagnant, or worse yet, go backward.  It’s time to view your business with new eyes.  This isn’t always easy.  We get locked in our business process and it’s hard to pull away from that gravity field.  But if change is happening around you, you’d better be ready to keep up.

For example, when blogs, social media outlets and online media sites began to become important communication outlets, many predicted that they would spell the end of traditional public relations.  Not a happy thought for an owner of a PR firm, but as we began to embrace the changes and utilize the various different forms of communication, it soon became apparent that not only was the Internet not a threat to our PR efforts, it greatly enhanced them.  Now, when we place a client in a magazine or newspaper article or on a TV or radio segment we can magnify and amplify that media coverage via blogging, social media and forums. Conversely we can first establish a client via the net on a website, blog, social media outlet or other online avenues and use the online buzz to generate interest from the traditional media.

Think of your business as an ever evolving process.  Let your competition stay rooted in one place.  Keeps your business growing; you’ll be surprised at the new outlets and opportunities you’ll find.

Copyright © Anthony Mora 2010

Flipboard: Become Your own Personal Publisher

Flipboard, a new social magazine application for the iPad has created quite the buzz.  It is quickly becoming the most popular free iPad application.   Flipboard converts an iPad into what is known as a social magazine. In essence it can make a tailor made magazine creating different sections from various social media sites, blogs and other online content.  It then organizes that content into a digital social magazine that readers can peruse with a flip of the wrist.  Flipboard is the latest social magazine.  As with Pulse, another app that allows users to create their own personalized publication, Flipboard illustrates one new trend in media and personalized publishing.  The mainstream media as well as bloggers and social media mavens will continue to publish and post their specific content, but with tools such as Flipboard every user can now be their own publisher and editor.  Think of it as publishing’s version of Tivo and the DVR.

The PR Credibility Factor – Small Business Benefit the most in Economic Hardtimes

Let’s look at an example of how advertising and media placement differ. You’re interested in buying a new car and just happen to be thumbing through a copy of Fortune magazine. You come across an ad for a car. The ad is pretty and glossy. It is a photo of a beach scene at sunset. The colors are more beautiful than those in real life. The photo has an attractive man and woman dressed in sophisticated evening attire standing by the car, which is parked in the sand, just beyond the reach of the aqua marine waves. The copy tells you that this car is the best thing to hit this country since sliced bread and that you can’t exist another day without running out and buying it. The photo tells you that if you do by the car, you will be transported to that idyllic beach scene. You live in Cincinnati, Ohio, it is the dead of winter, and damn if that idyllic marine scene doesn’t look inviting.

You continue to look through the magazine and come upon an article on the year’s best cars. The article mentions a certain car (not the one you saw in the ad), and touts the car as being one of the most efficient, best-built, luxurious, yet cost-effective cars on the market. The article is simple, direct, and informative and is written by an expert in the automotive field. Which do you think will have the most impact on you, the ad or the article?

My guess is, after the Caribbean fantasies die down, the article will have the greatest impact on you. Why? Credibility. The ad may give you some basic information, but it primarily offers you a fantasy. The car is bright and shiny. It is parked on an empty, pristine beach. The sun is setting in the background. There is a sexy, tanned couple, in evening attire no less, standing by the immaculate, gleaming car. Nine times out of ten, you’re not buying the car; you’re buying the scene – the fantasy.

The article, on the other hand, raises your comfort level. You have been given objective
information on the car’s effectiveness and quality. An expert has kicked the tires for you and given you a positive report. You have moved from fantasy to reality. The car featured in the ad may seem more sexy or romantic, but the one spotlighted in the article becomes real. It is a news story. Not only is it luxurious, it is dependable, efficient, and reliable. Remember, it’s 20-below outside, reliable is important. It is this type of credibility or validation that cannot be bought in the form of an ad. It is the credibility factor that makes PR so effective.

Copyright © Anthony Mora 2009

 

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