Creating content for social media and for blogs are both fairly promotional in terms of you getting your brand out there. But what about writing content for media pitching? There are so many little details that people often forget when they are reaching out to media and influencers.
Here are some of the questions/missed details that most often come up when we’re talking to clients about their media and influencer strategies.
How do I know if I am pitching the right person?
Just like you would research your target audience, you need to research your media targets. Check out what types of stories they have written about recently to make sure they would be interested in what you have to say. The other thing is that you need to understand who their audience is as well. Pitching a fashion story to a sports writer wouldn’t be the best use of your time – or theirs.
How long should my pitch be?
Keep it short and to the point. After working with your media contacts for a while you will learn more about how they like to be pitched. Take notes and do what you can to make it easier. Always keep in mind that they receive hundreds of media pitches per day sometimes, so shorter is always best.
What should I include in my media pitch?
Whether you are writing a media release or a targeted media pitch, think about an upside down pyramid. The bulk of your info – the who, what, when, where, why, how – should come up front. Stick to the facts. Include relevant stats if you have them, and always include a call to action. They need to know what you want from them. Are you trying to place a guest article? Are you wanting event coverage? Launch coverage?
When should I include a media release?
Only include the release if it is recent and relevant – a release you sent 3 months ago likely isn’t relevant anymore. When you do include the media release, don’t send it as an attachment, put it within the body of the email.
Can I pitch via social media?
More and more journalists are finding story leads from social media. It’s a great way to find spontaneous information and occurrences. That being said, before jumping on the media pitching over social media bandwagon, have a peek at their social feeds to see if they have interacted with followers in this way before. Also, keep it professional. For some people, Facebook is more personal whereas Twitter is more for professional interactions. It’s all about reading the situation.
If I could give one last piece of advice, it would be to edit yourself and read it out loud. If it sounds weird when you read it, then it will sound weird when your media target reads it.
A version of this article was originally posted to the SongBird Marketing Communications Blog.