Why “Selling” Never Works

Forget about selling when entering the PR world.  The media’s not interested in being sold; it’s interested in finding new, unique and compelling stories – that meet their specific needs.  That is something most companies and, to be honest, PR firms, generally forget.  Actually that’s something I have to remind myself on a daily basis.  When I worked as a journalist or as a magazine editor, it was always obvious that what I wanted was a good story.  When a company or PR rep would call and pitch me an idea, they (at times) had interesting stories, but generally not stories that interested my readers.  So, nine-times-out-of-ten, my response would be a (hopefully polite) no.


It’s not enough that the story you’re pitching is interesting, it has to fit the needs of the publication or TV show, or radio segment that you’re targeting.  That’s where the brainstorming comes in.  You have to think like an editor or a producer in order to find the story that works.  And once you’ve found your primary story, you need to drill down and come up with more targeted story ideas.  For example if you’re pitching a product, your primary story will most likely be around the product and how it helps your customer.  But it has to be told with a narrative, as a story, not as a hard sell.  Once you’ve figured that out, you then have to uncover you’re other stories.  Is there a human interest angle, is there an entrepreneurial angle, what other story ideas can you come up with to meet the needs of the various media outlets?   Your stories hold the key to your success, so focus on finding them and presenting them to the media in the most interesting way possible – and forget about the selling.      


Copyright © Anthony Mora 2009




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