8 Tricks to Get Media Treats

8 Tricks to Get Media Treats

With Halloween just around the corner, it’s important to bring your “A” game when pitching media. A season of many holidays brings many opportunities to pitch all the events going on in your company’s world. If you want to increase your media coverage and stand out in a crowd, here are eight “tricks” to get the most “treats” out of your media pitches. 

Find reporters with the most “treats”

Just like trick-or-treating, different places offer different amounts of candy. (We all know that one house that offers better candy than the rest.) This is the same in pitching the media. It’s crucial to find the right reporter in order to have the best chance of gaining coverage. Reach out to reporters that cover topics most similar to your interest and gear it towards their target audience. The more aligned you are with their goals, the more likely they’re going to cover you. The best way to do this is through building connections with reporters. Building relationships can be as simple as connecting through LinkedIn or other social media platforms. When pitching to them, you don’t want to be a stranger. 

Do your research

The better informed you are on what is going on in your industry, the more likely you will be able to scratch the itch that the media’s looking for by pitching relevant and unique content. If you are working with a PR agency, they will already be researching for you. If not, this is a crucial step in understanding what to publish based on what is already published. A good way to do the research is to look up the stories that are currently being written in your industry. Make sure to take note of any stories that are especially relevant to your company and who is writing them. This can be a good indicator of who to reach out to when pitching your media. 

Time it right

Halloween is the only day of the year where kids can show up on people’s front porches and expect candy in return. Just as that day is special, it’s just as important to get the timing right on your media pitch. If your pitch is less time-sensitive, take your time in crafting the message and find a slower time of year to pitch it. If you have breaking news, don’t wait to send it!

Keep it simple

You know when you are writing fluff, and so do reporters. Reporters can spot fluff a mile away and will not be interested in reading further. This means it’s best to create a straightforward pitch. One article by Hubspot found that 43% of reporters prefer a pitch that is less than 200 words. Keeping it short and sweet will not only better your chances of being read, but will also make you sound more professional. 

Stay Professional

In the business and communication world, it’s important to remain professional. One good way to do this is to watch your greetings, transitional words and closing sentences. Transition words can become especially confusing; for more information on them, check out HubSpot’s article on professional writing. A good way to tell how professional to be is to match the reporter’s tone and language. But when in doubt, being more professional is always better. 

Stand Out

While you want to remain professional in the tone and communication of your pitch, it’s equally important to stand out. Just as a good costume can make you stand out in a crowd on Halloween, a good pitch can help you stand out in the inbox of the reporter. A great way to stand out is to use visuals. According to a research study by Cision, journalists are attracted to multimedia assets and find it easier to digest the information in your pitch when it’s presented in bright graphics and bold texts rather than long paragraphs. It can be as simple as using Canva to create bright infographics or relevant charts to the information presented. The more aesthetically pleasing the email, the more it will stand out. 

Use Email

It can be tempting to reach out using social media since you’ll find reporters interacting casually there. Even though businesses are found to increasingly use social media for communication, this does not mean it’s the best form of communication. Muck Rack’s State of Journalism 2020 states that 93% of journalists still prefer to receive pitches in email form. Emailing them rather than using DMs can be a great way to ensure your pitch is taken seriously and sounds professional. 

Follow Up

Journalists receive hundreds of emails a day and may have missed yours. While you don’t want to annoy them by emailing every day, it’s okay to follow up once or twice after your initial pitch. According to Muck Rack’s State of PR 2019 Survey, 73% of journalists are OK with receiving a follow-up email to a pitch they didn’t initially respond to. While they are OK with a follow-up, it’s important to assume that they read your email initially, assuming otherwise will put them on the defensive. If you’re confident in your pitch and did the work to make it great, it won’t hurt to follow up. A gentle reminder could be all that it takes to secure media coverage for your company. 

About Lara Tanner: Lara is an Intern for Swyft, which is a tech PR firm in Austin and Houston and a top digital marketing and PR agency in Denver since its founding in 2011. Swyft also has a small satellite office where it offers tech PR in San Francisco. Swyft has been listed as one of the top tech PR agencies in Texas for two years running by the B2B services review site, Clutch.co.

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