How to ensure journalists engage with your message
Journalists receive hundreds of emails and calls per day, so to make yours stand out from the rest, you need to perfect your media pitching skills. Tailoring your message to the journalist and their audience is important, and when done effectively, can be the difference between a journalist engaging with you and your story or skipping past you.
Here are some tips from the public relations experts from Adoni Media.
Research the publication
Before sending PR and media pitches, research the media organisation and the journalist you’re targeting. Consider the organisation’s audience and whether your message is relevant. Think about which specific journalists or editorial team members will take an interest in your story and contact them directly.
Tailor your email or call to the specific journalist to make your story stand out in their inbox. Referencing a relevant past story published by the journalist can be helpful in showing why they might be interested in your story pitch.
Pitch the story – not your company
Focus on pitching an engaging newsworthy story rather than promoting your company alone. Brand awareness is appropriate, but make it subtle – too much information about your company will cause the journalist to lose interest as the story will sound like an advertisement. Instead, write the pitch that is relevant and enticing to the reader, and include as much information as possible to make the journalist’s job easier. Consider stats, backgrounds, profiles and imagery.
Consider if your story is timely, significant and has a human-interest angle. From here, create a clear hook to present your news story in a way that is relevant and that will stimulate interest.
Also, provide a clear call to action at the end of the pitch. Calls to action are important to stand-alone news stories as they provide a clear resolution. If your story pitch presents an issue, the call to action can promote your company’s product or services as the solution.
Timing is a key factor when pitching to journalists. Be mindful of deadlines and any other news that is circulating that day as it might stop your pitch from being read. Journalists may also need time to interview, write and source materials, depending on the nature of the story.