Creating a PR Pitch that Works by Anthony Mora

An effective public relations campaign can reach your target market, establish you as an expert in your field, and offer you validation and legitimacy that comes with being featured as a news story.  That’s great, right?  But how do you come up with the right pitches and ideas to grab the media’s attention?  You can send out press releases and media blasts all day long, but if you don’t have a compelling story that meets the media’s needs, your PR campaign is not going to work for you.  So how do you go from concept to actually landing TV and print stories?  Brainstorm.  Think like a journalist, not like a business person.

  • Set up a brainstorming session with your PR consultant, or, if you’re doing this in-house, meet with members of your staff that understand your practice.
  • Allow everyone involved to speak freely.  Start with a list of the obvious stories, then drill down to more unique stories or review different ways to present stories.
  • Think out of the box.  Be creative.  Remember you don’t have to use all of these stories, but the deeper you drill, the better the chances of finding a great story, so let the ideas flow-freely.  You’re pitching TV, so think in terms of the strongest visual stories you can present
  • Divide the stories as per the various media outlets you’ll be approaching.  There will be some stories that are timely, others that are seasonal and others that are evergreen.  Come up with a schedule of when to pitch which stories
  • Divide the stories into local, regional and national.  Different media outlets have different needs.  You want to pitch towards their specific needs.

You want to illustrate why your story and pitch is a perfect fit for their readers or viewers.   You want them to see the value in your story.  To do that you have to come up with a pitch that speaks to each media outlet’s specific audience.  You very well could pitch Vogue, the Today Show, the Wall Street Journal and your local newspaper the same story, but you’d have to tailor you pitch to meet those outlet’s specific needs.  You’d need a female angle, a visual angle, a business angle and a local angle.

Remember, your job is to present yourself and your product or service as a story the media will want to cover, not to do a sales job.  As soon as you try to “sell” a producer or an editor, you’ve lost.  To interest the media don’t pitch your product or your service, pitch a story; pitch your value.

Copyright © Anthony Mora 2011

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