Don’t Work Harder, Pitch Smarter

Work smarter, not harder. You’ve likely heard this phrase before. But what does it mean and how does it apply to pitching? When you pitch to a media rep, a publication, or a journalist, it’s a straightforward process, right? Not exactly; you really can pitch smarter.

1. Organization Matters

When it comes to pitching to the media, organization is important. Create systems to track who you pitch to, what you’ve pitched and how you’re supposed to follow up. It’s also important to track your background research on them. For example, when was the last time you had contact with them? What was the contact and what was the result? What did you talk about that you can mention in your next communication? Tracking media communications is a lot like sales leads and conversations. Show them that you care and remember by tracking your communications. It builds a stronger relationship. Staying organized also saves you time and energy when you pitch. You have all of the pertinent information at your fingertips.


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2. Pick Up The Phone

Sure, email is how many media reps and journalists prefer to be contacted, and it’s certainly a lot easier to pitch via email. However, you may find that your time is better spent simply picking up the phone and having a conversation. If your chosen media representative isn’t a phone person and they’re local, try to set up a face-to-face meeting. It’s easier to build relationships and pitch a story when you can have a conversation with someone.

3. Be Helpful

Relationships, good solid relationships, are built on a give and take. They’re two sided. Become a source of information and a resource for media representatives. They will reciprocate when they can and cover your company’s news. It makes pitching a lot easier when the media rep feels like they can rely on you.

4. A Working Template

Create a working template for your pitches. Each pitch needs to be personalized, remember your organized research? That will help you personalize your pitch. A working pitch template or even an outline helps you make sure that you address all of the components of the story that you feel are pertinent to your pitch.

5. Stop Mass Pitching

Finally, it should be mentioned that mass pitch emails never work. It’s a tremendous waste of your time to send semi-personal pitches to dozens, or hundreds, of media reps. First of all, that’s a lot of tracking and follow-up for you. Secondly, you’re not targeting the most promising resources; you’re throwing the metaphorical spaghetti at the wall and seeing what sticks. It’s not productive. Thirdly, media people talk, and if they start to realize that you’re pitching the same story idea to an abundance of people, you’ll never get a story covered. Your reputation is ruined.

Pitching doesn’t have to be a time consuming and difficult process. A bit of advanced preparation and organization can go a long way.

Anthony Santiago is Director of Marketing at Newswire. With over a decade of experience in PR, he helps ensure that clients understand the value of brand messaging and reach.

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