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Inbound Marketing Blog

    How to Craft a Magnetic PR Pitch

    Posted by Rachel Chapdelaine

    So your one-size-fits-all PR pitch doesn’t fit after all?


    It’s time to dust off the ole workout sweats and exercise your media outreach.

    The Why

    The What, The Who, The Where and The How of a PR pitch are all dictated by The Why. To have a successful PR pitch, you need to first identify your company's greatest need and define a SMART goal.

    Is your goal to increase website backlinks, market your company as an industry thought leader or increase brand awareness?

    The What

    Whatever you do, don’t send out transparent, self-promoting content to a list of random media contacts. Just like the journalists you seek, you want to educate their audience with valuable and relevant content. Unique content will also help you stand out during a PR pitch. Are you just presenting industry stats and curated content? Or are you providing unique content that hasn’t been published before?

    Be honest with yourself – How interesting/ valuable/ unique is your content? You’re probably not going to persuade journalists into thinking your company’s Christmas party is newsworthy…Unless you have hired Jean-Claude Van Damme to perform the splits between two food trucks while balancing fourteen Santas on his head.

    So what information and content should you share? It really just depends on your goal and relationship with the media contact. After your initial PR pitch, offer a variety of educational and unique content related to your industry, not your company, to enhance your pitch.

    When topics are relevant, you should offer:

    • Case studies

    • Videos

    • Slide shows

    • Infographics

    • An industry expert interview

    • To write a guest blog 

    The Who

    Industry bloggers, trade journals, online newspapers and digital magazines are a great place to start. But you still need to ask yourself: Is the publication aligned with your content? Is your buyer persona or target market among its audience?

    Fully research and develop your media contact database before you begin your PR pitch. Include the publication, contact name, title, phone number, e-mail address, social profiles, audience demographics and other helpful information that will allow you to identify how valuable each contact is to helping you reach your buyer personas.

    Proper research goes beyond selecting appropriate publications and media contacts. You need to review recent articles to verify that the journalist or bloggers haven’t recently covered what you are about to pitch to them.

    Get to know the content they produce, where they distribute it, what topics they are interested in, if they have published information about your competitors in the past, and who they interact with on social networks.

    Try creating a media outreach calendar in a spreadsheet to identify when you should contact each person and track your interactions for later reference.

    The Where

    Just like with your brand advocates and digital influencers, you need to build a relationship with media contacts before asking for coverage. Consider building a rapport with journalists and bloggers via social media channels. Research with channels they are most active on and engage with their content. Twitter has high engagement and is a great place to start.

    After they know who you are and you’ve left a good impression, possibly even helpful content unrelated to your product or service, you can begin to inquire into their interest for more information and content related to your business.

    The How

    After you have built a relationship, consider how you will frame your pitch. Try to keep your pitch simple and short (try to keep it around five sentence). You don’t want to provide too much content in your initial pitch. The official pitch usually comes in the form of an e-mail.

    Subject Line: Write your subject line last and focus on it, as it determines whether your e-mail is opened.

    Your subject line should be:

    • Concise

    • Clear

    • Attention-grabbing

    • Personalized

    Introduction: This is the second most important area to grab attention and convey your intent.

    • Introduce yourself

    • Reference where you found them

    • Reference their related content that you found helpful

    • Be honest about who you are and what you want. If you’re not the owner of the business, don’t pretend to be. You wouldn’t lie about who you are to an investigative reporter, would you?

    Body:

    Whether you’re aiming to write a guest blog post, promote a story, or request an interview, you consider the following guidelines:

    • Prioritize the most important information to be presented first. You’ll want to keep them interested.

    • Briefly, and I mean briefly, describe product or service

    • State why you/ your product/ your service is value-adding

    • Clearly convey your offer

    • Explain why it is a good fit

    • Show that you understand their audience

    • Show how you’re a credible source

    • Use bullet points to draw attention and break up paragraphs - This is great for when you have multiple points or features you want to emphasize

    • Include the name of the specific journalist you are interested in working with

    • Include a clear call-to-action so they know what you’re asking of them

    • Link to related blog articles and content hosted on your website, as this will give them a good idea of the content you produce.

    • Don’t attach documents to the e-mail

    • Link to files that are form-free within the text

    • Reserve your company information for the end of the pitch - This could be the least important part and possibly unnecessary to include in the pitch at all. Remember, you want to pitch a story or idea, not your company. If they continue to read on to your company’s information, then great, they know more about what you do and how impressive you are. If not, you conveyed the message you needed to in the time they gave you.

    Again, don't provide too much content in the first pitch. If you have clearly stated your offer and intent and they are interested in more information, they will ask you for it.

    Guest Blog Example:

    Hi Jane,

    Your How to Conquer Claw Machines was so well organized and insightful that I decided to link to it in my recent blog post, which you can find here.

    I noticed that your blog only has a few references to Skee Ball. If you’re looking for Skee Ball Rockstars, I’d love to share my Skee Ball experience that I’ve been blogging about for 10 years.

    Your audience would probably find these topics useful:

    •         How to beat your best score

    •         Optimal throw techniques

    •         Properly waxing Skee Balls

    What other topics would your audience find interesting? Call or e-mail me this week if you’re interested in getting more articles on your blog.

    Thank you,

    John

    (picture and contact info)

    Use this as a guide to present offers and your organization to media in a way that will get picked up. You’ll find that this system will help you be better organized, identify media that reach your buyer personas and get you noticed. Start building those relationships today for a better PR pitch tomorrow. 

    learning seo from the experts

    image credit: danilo rizzuti/freedigitalphotos.net

    Topics: Inbound Marketing