Three strikes and you are out may be the golden rule in baseball, but pitching journalists headline-worthy news can be hit or miss. In fact, it’s all about the angle of the story and your relationship with the journalist— both of which can be difficult to establish. Have no fear, next time you’re up to bat take these four pointers into consideration, and you might be the “MVP” of the game!
1. Know your audience – Remember you’re talking to the journalist and their readers or viewers, so you have two audiences. If you work hard and do your research, you can learn a lot about a journalist’s beat and their writing style. This information can help you curtail your pitch to their liking. If you craft your email correctly, you could land a great story for your brand.
2. Create a powerful narrative – If your story isn’t interesting, it doesn’t matter how well written it is. Because you want to keep your relationships with journalists strong and vibrant, give them good stories. If you think your angle isn’t relevant or strong enough, you’re probably right. Try a new strategy or look for a humorous angle. Journalists are pitched news all day long, but if you create a great narrative they can’t help but give you attention.
3. Get social – Make every email and interaction count! Reaching out to bloggers and reporters who cover your industry and complementing them on their recent work helps establish a relationship you can work with in the future. Generally, reporters who cover a particular niche are interested in reading articles, studies or reports that pertain to their beat. So, share news and start a meaningful conversation whenever you get a chance—it makes a difference. Don’t forget to follow them on Twitter and other social media platforms.
4. Learn the industry – This goes without saying, but if you keep up with changes in your industry, you will be able to foresee trends. By knowing this information, you can work hard to establish your brand’s message and voice in the media.
Engaging with the media may seem like an overwhelming task, but hard work and frequent communication go a long way with reporters. As always, quality conversations mean more than a quick one-off. Finally, if your approach doesn’t work the first time — try again. No one has ever hit a homerun without a few fouls, pop flys and grounders first.