I came across this great post by Manminder Dhillon and wanted to share it with you!
Why Even Bother Pitching to the Media?
Here are seven reasons why and how the phone still works.
by Manminder Dhillon
Pitching is an important element of media relations strategy. But many still rely on traditional form of sending in boring and lengthy press releases.
Why even bother pitching when emailing and faxing in is so much easier?
Well, if you still have that mindset, then it is time to change. I will share seven reasons why you should pick up the phone and pitch your story.
1. Attract attention: The media is often overloaded with so many invitations, press releases and emails. By pitching, you automatically bring their attention to your story.
2. Communicate directly: By pitching, you are communicating to the journalists and editors. This will make them aware of your organization. Not only it will put a human touch to your press release or invitation, it shows that you are taking the initiative to contact them.
3. Stressing important elements: When you pitch, you actually highlight the important elements of your event directly, sometimes these are the same things that would have been neglected by the busy eyes of a hurried journalist or editor.
4. Direct confirmation: This is the best part. When you pitch, you will coax the media to cover your event, you will know immediately whether they will be covering your event or not. If yes, well done. If not, you can at least try different media outlets.
5. Re-sell: Sometimes a press release, invitation or story maybe rejected, by pitching you allow an open discussion with the journalist or editors on how to re-angle your story. This may just be a lucky break.
6. Learning: When pitching, you actually learn what the media really wants. For example “We do write these types of stories anymore” or “This is not what we are looking for.” You immediately learn what the specific media’s needs and wants are. The next time, you will not waste their time and yours.
7. Making contacts: Pitching opens avenues for future contacts.
When you call and speak to a certain journalist or editor, you are actually taking the first step of making a connection.
Even if they say no, you can always ask what types of stories they are looking for, how else can you help them. Take the opportunity to make small conversations, ask their personal phone numbers or better still ask them out for lunch.