July 13, 2011 1 Comment
To have yourself, your service or your product featured in the media, you need to effectively pith the media. It’s an art. By appearing in the media you create a bridge between your company and your clients or customers. You also build your brand by establishing credibility that only comes with being featured as a news story. Your best bet is to hire a public relations firm or PR consultant to develop, launch and implement your media relations campaign for you. It can be a tricky business and you can often do yourself more harm than good by trying it on your own. But, if money is tight and you’re not in a position to retain a firm, you don’t have to wait to get started. There are some PR tips and secrets you can try. With that in mind, the following is a pitching overview.
One approach to pitching a story is to use statistics in order to introduce your topic. Let’s say you represent a skin care company and are doing a pitch to beauty consumer magazines or trade publications. You could start your pitch with a stat similar to the one below:
According to Skin Inc. “The markets in both Europe and the United States have seen positive gains in 2010. Europe has recovered posting a 3.0% increase following a 3.3% decline in 2009, and sales in the United States have increased by 2.7%.”
It may or may not be the right stat to lead with because it entirely depends on the specific angle or pitch you want to present. If you’re pitching a story about how the skin care arena is growing, look for statistics that back that up. You can use one of two angles, one being that more and more people are using skin care and your product is at the leading edge of this boom, and the other being that your product or services are unique within this growing field. Lead with the statistics to grab the media’s attention then follow with you particular pitch or angle.
It’s now time to make your specific pitch. Remember you are not pitching a product or a service, you are pitching a story. Don’t approach it from your perspective, but from that of the media. Sure you want to sell more products and land more customers, but the media wants to tell a compelling story that interests it’s readers and helps it’s ratings. So when pitching, appeal to the media’s needs.
Now that you have the media’s interest, let them know that you have an expert who can address their needs. Give your qualifications and explain why you are indeed an expert. Even it you’re pitching a product; it helps immensely to present yourself as an expert. Remember, you don’t want to present a product spokesperson, but a true expert in the field of beauty and skincare; one who can talk about the product but can also discuss the latest trends, ingredients and changes in the field. If you’ve been featured in other media outlets, let them know. It makes the media feel more confident in your abilities if they realize that you’ve been in the media before. If you haven’t that’s fine, but establish why you are an expert.
Finally, close with other topics and angles that you can address or comment on. Who knows, they might pass on your original pitch, but book you for one of the other suggestions. More importantly the media will begin to see you as an expert in your field. Those are the ones that get placed in the media rolodex, and that’s just where you want to be.
Copyright © Anthony Mora 2011