How to Write a 3-Paragraph Media Pitch
Through Facebook, I have started following “PR in Your Pajamas” which is helpful in reminding me of PR basics, but also an intriguing concept….wouldn’t you prefer to do PR in your pajamas rather than in your panty hose? (Sorry, guys, please substitute whatever item of clothing you would like to substitute for pajamas. I personally despise panty hose, but I digress.)
Elena Verlee, a passionate publicist with two decades of brand building experience, is the founder of a successful PR agency called Cross Border Communications that works with high-growth and technology companies to promote them in the US, Canada and the UK.
Elena’s blog and do-it yourself website “PR in Your Pajamas” helps micro entrepreneurs and small businesses who can’t afford a publicist to get heard, get known, and get talked about so they can change the world.
You can read more about Elena and her PR expertise here.
Elena’s post yesterday was particularly interesting to me, since I feel that media pitching is fast becoming a lost art.
If you ask any journalist, they will tell you that a succinct, timely and relevant pitch is preferable over a long and detailed press release any day… at least to suggest a story idea.
Once the reporter has committed to writing a story, they will want more facts, but if you are trying to get their interest, and determine if a story would be a good fit with their publication or broadcast outlet, a good pitch is the way to go.
Thanks, Elena Verlee, for bringing us relevant content on best practices in PR through your Facebook posts, your website and even your book, “PR for Newbies.”
If you can write an email, you can write a media pitch and get publicity for your small business.
When we talk about pitching the media, a pitch is simply a way to introduce a reporter or editor to you, your company, products or services.
It can be really easy, using the few sentences you already use everyday to describe your business, such as:
“We sell men’s socks by subscription, so it comes to your door like a magazine. You’ll never have to worry about the mundane task of shopping for socks again.”
Or it may need more tweaking, to appeal to what the editor writes about (start-up businesses and entrepreneurs), what their readers are looking for (organic foods, funky baby gear, wellness products and services) or what time of year you are contacting them (for their holiday guide, for Father’s Day gift ideas).
It may sound complicated, but really, just 3 paragraphs will do.
The first paragraph introduces your company and what is unique about you or your offering. Make sure you give your website or blog so they can get more information.
The second paragraph ties into how your company will help the magazine/newspaper or blog’s readers solve a problem. You can talk about benefits, outcomes or even use a testimonial or quote to get the point across.
The third paragraph calls them to engage with you. Offer your product or service for review. Or let them know what topics you are an expert at, to give them story ideas to talk to you about. You want to have an opening to contact them again, so make sure you indicate that you will be following up with them – not the other way around. Make sure you give them your email and a phone number to contact you if they wish.
As you start writing your pitch, here are a few questions to get you started:
• What’s your company and what product or service do you offer?
• What makes your offering unique? If you can’t find what’s unique about your company, the editor won’t either.
• Why will it appeal to the readership? Keep asking yourself “so what?” until you are satisfied with the answer.
• What do your customers say about you?
• What is the boldest, most outrageous or provocative statement you are willing to make about your product or service? You must truly believe this to be effective.
Never assume that your story isn’t interesting enough for an editorial. You would be shocked how often publications are looking for new stories and it’s a great way to get free publicity whether you’re just starting out or have an established business.
Write out your 3 paragraph media pitch today and send it to any media outlet you think might be interested and do let me know how you do!
This article can also be found on Elena’s website