9 valuable tips when pitching to the media

According to numbers released by the U.S. Department of Labor last year, PR professionals outnumber reporters 4.6 to 1. It’s more important than ever before to do your research and craft a concise pitch that will be of interest to the reporter and their readers. During our March Meet the Media event, we sat down with a few journalists to hear their tips on what PR pros should think about when crafting a pitch.

  1. “Find a local angle, and ask, ‘why would you care?’”
  2. “Know what you want to pitch, and to whom you are pitching.”
  3. “Cut to the chase.”
  4. “Don’t forget to follow up a week out, a day out and the day of the event/news; otherwise it might get lost in the inbox.”
  5. “Know your reporter’s beat.”
  6. “Send to the group email (e.g., news@outlet.com); it’s the best way ensure that someone will see your email.”
  7. “Be prepared when you pitch – you’re the expert.”
  8. “Know the outlet’s deadline and editorial calendar.”
  9. “If you get your story picked up, make the most of it (e.g., share it on Twitter). It will make it much easier to pitch a story the next time.”

You’ve most likely heard most of them before, but they serve a great reminder, saving time and effort for both PR pros and our journalist friends.

A big thank you to all the media participants: Diana Willsie and Dan Boers (WOOD TV 8); Marty Primeau (Grand Rapids Magazine); Leigh Ann Towne, Andrea Shaner and Amanda Stevenson (FOX 17); Anya Zentmeyer (Rapid Growth); Claire Fodell (Newsradio WOOD 1300); Jennifer Pascua and Peter Ross (WZZM TV 13); Shandra Martinez (MLive Media Group); Amy Charles (West Michigan Woman); Josh Depenbrok (GRNow.com); Hilary Farrell (WGVU Radio); Tim Gortsema and Chris Ehrlich (Grand Rapids Business Journal); Rich Tupica (REVUE Magazine); and Molly Rizor (REVUE Magazine).

Don’t miss April’s hot event, The Art of Executive Communications and Speechwriting, to hear from industry experts on writing for executives, from the boardroom to the White House and everywhere in between. [April 16, 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m. at Eve Lounge at The B.O.B.]