Six Tips for Pitching the Media

Screen Shot 2013-10-31 at 7.48.16 AMPitching the media is easy, right?  Anybody can do it, right?  Well, to be perfectly honest, no, it’s not always easy and not everybody can do it.  When a pitch is skillfully handled and leads to an interview it may look easy, but so does basketball when you watch Michael Jordan play.  As in any successful accomplishment, there is a lot of work that goes on behind the scenes to make the effort successful.

Two instances come to mind that illustrate the best ways to pitch the media.  In the first instance, a new PR person I worked with wanted to pitch the media and put together an e-mail pitch.  This person asked me to review the pitch and it was…thorough.   The pitch was about the length of a full-blown short novel and included a number of attachments, data sheets and photos.  No reporter wants to receive all this in the first pitch.

In the second example, a former colleague froze once the reporter answered the phone.  I’ve shared this story before, but when the reporter answered the phone my colleague panicked and told the reporter that this was his first pitch and that he didn’t know what to say.  The reporter took pity on him and asked him who his client was and if they had a new product or what the news was.  My colleague explained and the reporter agreed to an appointment. Rarely does this happen.

Bearing these stories in mind, here are six tips to make pitching the media successful.

Reporters are open to hearing from PR people and others that have a legitimate story.  They’re busy and don’t want to waste time on superfluous and irrelevant pitches. If done right, a pitch will be well received and yield the positive results your company wants.  When done right it looks easy and effortless even though it’s not all that easy.  By following these six steps you’ll increase your chances for success and begin building relationships of trust with the media that will enable you to secure and enjoy ongoing success.

Jeremy KartchnerAbout Jeremy Kartchner

Jeremy Kartchner is a Partner at Snapp Conner PR and has more than 15 years experience in both technology and sports PR.  In addition to his responsibilities with Snapp Conner PR, Kartchner also works with the Utah Jazz as a member of its Game Night public relations staff where he is responsible for tracking and providing game time statistics for local, national and international media and conducting pre and post game player and coach interviews. He’s a sports fan, golfer, father of three, husband to one hottie, partially bionic, cavity free, Olympics junkie and wanna be blogger.

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