Ideas for pitching the media
Having been on both sides -- as a newspaper reporter columnist and as an accredited PR counselor working with the media on behalf of clients -- I learned some new things in the below. Thanks to PR Web/VOCUS for these tips. (Underlines, itals are mine)
Journalists are bombarded with pitch emails every day. To earn coverage across important industry publications, you need creative ways to grab journalists’ attention.
A mix of online and offline tactics is best. Here are FOUR WAYS to bypass the traditional email pitch to earn more media coverage for your brand.
Use Social Media in New Ways
Don’t stop at following and interacting with reporters on Twitter. Consider LinkedIn’s highly-targeted PPC ads. You can choose to display your ads only to reporters whose profiles match a specific job title and industry.
Sign Up for HARO
HARO (Help A Reporter Out) is a free service provided by Vocus that connects marketers with the press. HARO sends out hundreds of real-time media opportunities daily, directly from reporters who need a source for their articles. (Nancy says, make sure you can change your expertise description if you're not receiving inquiries after several weeks.)
Host an Industry Event
When you have exciting news like a product launch, host an event for journalists and bloggers. Putting faces to names and having in-person conversations will reinforce your online interactions with reporters. Give attendees a first look at the new product, or an opportunity to try it before the general release. Send out tailored invitations to each member of the press, with a custom hashtag in the invites to encourage social media buzz.
Nancy says, the majority of major dailys have military writers, and editors of weeklies are always looking for news that's localized. (1)On your media list, note the best time to call (not close to deadlines), and (2) try to sit down with the reporter to let that person know your expertise BEFORE you publish. If there's news to which you can contribute, the reporter will know your credentials or you can contact with your contribution.
Make News Compatible
Think beyond the traditional text-based news story. Create news content that’s compatible with different platforms; for example, videos for YouTube and photos for Pinterest and Instagram. Visuals, videos and infographics make your brand stand out in a reporter’s social media feeds and add depth to your story.
In summary, remember that reporters contend with full inboxes every day, so it’s crucial that you get creative. Take the time to cultivate meaningful relationships with reporters in your industry, deliver memorable content and build a strong network of contacts.