Meeting with another editor today made us realize once again, just how personal it really gets. Journalists or not, people in general like to talk and think about themselves – what they like, how they like it and what their needs and wants are – and in the end – that is how they will determine what they write about –if they can relate, they write. Everything really is personal.
Here are our rules for customizing your pitch for increased chances in editorial coverage –
1. Define your company’s primary target audience and research what they read/watch and follow. What information is most important to your customer?
2. Create a top-tier list of those publications/shows/websites that your target audience (primary and secondary customer) is attracted to and research the editors/producers/writers who create content for them.
3. Read/review/watch these media outlets to better understand their unique point of view. Saving time? Saving money? Status? Future trends? Every magazine/program and website spins it a different way. What ever it might be, twist your pitch to the POV.
4. Study the sections/segments of each outlet and develop pitches for those sections/segments. It might be the “What’s Hot/New” review or it might be the “Splurge vs Save” section. Remember to mention it in your pitch.
5. Next, be sure to be properly prepared, create a template that you can customize for each media connection and conversation you make. This will help you save time as you smile and dial and network your way through the media.
6. Read/review/watch those media outlets you are about to pitch for timely and up to the minute stories that you can mention upon first contact. Research the writer/producer. Get to know what resonates with them.
7. Let the writer/producer know that you are aware of what and how they write/produce. There’s nothing more embarrassing than pitching a story idea they already wrote about last week or month.
8. Have your prepared content and photos/illustrations ready to send upon request. If they grab a pitch, you have to be ready to move swiftly with the specific information they need to write/produce the story.
9. Offer your most coveted media outlet (where you’d like to be seen first) an exclusive. If they don’t bite, go down your priority list of media.
10. Approach the editor/writer/personally and patiently. Call/email/tweet/send a message – just make sure it’s customized and hand-crafted for them.