How to Pitch Press Stories in 4 Easy Steps
Hey, babes! Let’s talk about Public Relations & Press. Advertising is you telling someone you’re good & PR is when someone else says you’re good. We can probably all agree that the latter is what we’re after, since word of mouth and referrals are the best way to win clients & customers and ultimately grow your business.
We've been fortunate to work with every media outlet in Tampa Bay as well as national outlets such as Food & Wine and Good Morning America. We learn something new from every press hit we’ve garnered through working with past clients & businesses and think we have some insight that we can share to help business owners like you!
Since it’s 4th of July week and there are lots of relevant stories that can be pitched to promote small businesses, we thought the topic would be perfect. Here are our 4 tips on how to land press hits.
Step 1. Get the timing right. You wouldn’t want a customer to get in touch with you for a custom product a few days before they need it, right? Make sure you don’t do the same to reporters & producers by pitching content right before you’d like it to be published. Even if it’s content that they’re excited about and is relevant to their audience, nobody likes to be pitched last minute. So if you had a topic you wanted to talk about for Independence Day, it would be ideal to be pitching minimum one month out. Not every media outlet works the same, but the earlier the better is a good general rule.
Step 2. Refine your pitch. Make sure your pitch is clear & concise. You don’t want to overload who you're pitching by sending too many ideas, so it’s best to share one solid idea and offer flexibility by saying that you’re open to ideas from them as well, meaning you’ll adapt the idea to what will work best with that media outlet’s needs are.
Step 3. Assemble your materials & hit send. The best way to send your pitch to a media outlet is in a tidy, organized package just like you’d send out your product. You’ll want to attach 2 or 3 high resolution images to showcase your news idea, a press release (or a few well-written paragraphs with details about your business and what you're pitching), & a concise story idea. Prepare yourself for the following scenarios: you might not hear back right away, if at all; the reporter might like your idea but isn't able to pursue it for reasons you can’t control; the writer likes your idea and wants to pursue the story, but is going to come at it from a different angle and you might not be the only business featured in the story. When you’ve got all this together and you’re in a good headspace, hit send!
Step 4. Follow up & be ready to run! If you don’t hear back within 48 hours, go ahead and follow up on your email. It’s likely that your message is competing with lots of other deadlines and pitches from others. Follow up & offer to send over anything else that reporter may need for the potential story. If your pitch gets picked up, be prepared to respond as quickly as possible and prep any other materials that might be needed. Don’t miss out on a press opportunity because you haven’t checked your email in over 24 hours. Have fun stepping into the limelight & thank the reporter for their time whether you land the pitch or not. Happy pitching! :)