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.]

PR Newswire Global Director of Emerging Media to Visit West Michigan

Michael PranikoffHow to Make Content Work in a Technology Driven Worldwith Michael Pranikoff, Global Director of Emerging Media for PR Newswire

The hottest buzzword in the PR / Marketing world seems to be Content.  However, creating content is not really new.  The idea of using content to help market a product, service, or cause has been around for more than 100 years.  What has changed is the technology that allows us to create content faster and easier than ever before, target our content to more specific audiences, create content that is easy for others to share, and measure the effectiveness of our content against our business objectives.

PR Newswire Global Director of Emerging Media Michael Pranikoff will join West Michigan PRSA to discuss ways to make your content work in today’s technology driven world.   The interactive and conversational session will focus on practical tactics that can be applied to marketing communications efforts right away. 

WHEN: Tuesday, February 19, 2013 at noon

WHERE: Davenport University, Peter C. Cook Center 45 Ottawa NW Rooms 101 A/B Parking available at city ramp across the street

PRICE: $25 for members, $35 for nonmembers, $20 for students. Lunch is included.

About the Speaker Michael Pranikoff is the global director of emerging media for PR Newswire.  A well-known speaker in the U.S. and around the world, Michael has spoken at the last three PRSA International Conferences and offered keynote addresses at the Digital World Conference, The Institute for Social and the Search & Mobile Marketing Converge Summit.  Follow him on Twitter: @mpranikoff