I've worked PR-side for over 15 years, but it wasn't until I popped over the fence into the editor's chair, that I really got the insight into how wrong lots of people get PR (including PRs themselves). So here are my top 5 tips on pitching to journalists:
#1 Do Your Research: Know who you're pitching to, which bit of the publication they write for, how they normally cover brands, what kind of content they might be looking for. Spend time reading, researching and getting to know the media before you even start to reach out to them. It'll stand you in good stead, I promise.
#2 Build relationships: Where you can, try and build relationships with journalists so you're not pitching cold. Social media is brilliant for this - a like here, a share there, some witty DM banter. Try where you can to follow, engage and support.
#3 Go Bespoke: If there's one things I urge you to do, it's send a bespoke email to a journalist. Not one that's Bcc'd to everyone on your media list, or copy and pasted and sent out time and time again. Show them why you are good for them, show them you've done your research (see point #1). Make it personal and make it relevant.
#4 Keep it short and snappy: They don't need to know every detail about your business and they don't have time to read a dissertation. Their decision will be made in the first few sentences of your email, so keep it short, sharp and to the point. Think what your angle is, what's your hook? What's new, what's newsworthy, what's news?
#5 Remove your agenda: Where you can, forget your own agenda. Think about what the journalist is trying to achieve, about what their audience wants to read about. Put yourself at the end of the journey rather than the beginning of yours.
My DIY PR members have been putting these tips into practice inside The PR Set - and they've been getting some incredible results. The press coverage is coming in thick and fast. Here are just some of the coverage they've been getting for themselves:
The Tur-Shirt company in the Daily Express
Supermummas founder Krisha in Grazia
Emma Kangis in Psychology Now
Simply Noir In Metro
Peace & Riot in Absolutely Mama
Emma Brockwell in Daily Mail
Me Shirt Kits in Daily Telegraph
And that's just a handful of the press coverage (not to mention all the other PR that my members are getting!). I'm like a proud mum.
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