While it is tempting, when launching a PR or media relegations campaign, to attempt to pitch everything about you or your business simultaneously – avoid the temptation. Keep it simple. Be specific.  Use a targeted approach.  Journalists usually work on deadlines and have time limits. Chances are the more you send them, the less they’ll pay attention.  Develop a story, not a sales pitch. If you pitch journalists every detail of your business, you’re not going to get far. Going for width and not depth is a common – and costly – mistake.

Journalists are generally looking for news or human-interest stories. Pitches about new partners joining the company or employee promotions are fine for trade-oriented media, but presenting those types of stories to mainstream media is futile.  It might interest you, but from the media’s point-of-view, there is no news there. Not only will journalists pass on such pitches, thinking that you don’t understand their needs, chances are they’ll ignore your subsequent efforts. think you don’t understand their needs and are wasting their time.

When sending out a release on a new product or service, don’t simply announce that a new product is being launched. Develop a pitch that explains how the product or service will help or impact others.  Will it make people’s lives easier? How will it impact an industry?  Will it save time or money? You get the basic idea. Also, ensure that you don’t inundate journalists with press releases or media pitches. If a journalist receives pitches from you too frequently, he or she will quickly decide to ignore your pitches altogether. Your emails will be directed to their spam folder.

Keep in mind the life of an editor, producer, or journalist is a hectic one.  Work with them.  Make their lives easier.  Even if your story is initially rejected, make sure that it’s appropriate.  If you pitch a sports editor a story on floral arrangement… well, you follow my drift.

Study the media’s needs (think about the stories their audience reads) and come up with specific pitches for the various media outlets.  It’s a time consuming, intricate process, which is why if you can bring on PR team to handle your outreach it will pay off in the long run.  But, if you’re not in a position to do so, don’t wait.  Start your PR outreach, but be smart. 

More tips to keep in mind:

  1. Study the media.
  2. The best story is one that works for you and the media.  View your pitches from their perspective. 
  3. Develop story and pitch ideas that are media appropriate.
  4. Make your pitches concise, easy to read and avoid using ales or industry-specific jargon.
  5. Don’t over-inundate the media with follow-ups or pitches.  Respect their time.
  6. Develop compelling stories
  7. And always remember, effective PR is effective storytelling. 

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