You can’t take short cuts when it comes to media outreach. Here are a few of the techniques our agency consistently emphasizes to deliver excellent media placements:
•Research: You’ve got to know who you’re sending your pitches to and what they write about, so research, from past articles to Twitter feeds, is important. We don’t do generic press releases that hit every media member in the state. We find the reporters who cover our topic and send them personalized, appropriate pitches. And by personalized, I mean we focus on angles relevant to their markets, not what they said on Twitter last week.
•Professionalism: Obviously, trying not to come off as creepy is important, but being professional goes beyond that. We’re trying to get journalists to see the value of the story we’re pitching, and to do that we’ve got to craft that story as close as possible to the way they would do it. That means solid headlines, attention-grabbing leads, inverted pyramid structure and AP Style. We want to make it as easy as possible for them to transition from a pitch or press release to a story.
•Pick up the phone: Email is effective and important, but there’s nothing better to breed real familiarity with a reporter than speaking on the phone, even if it’s just for a minute. It makes you stand out, it helps you connect with them and understand what they’re looking for. Which leads to…
•Developing relationships: The best way to avoid fake familiarity is to develop real familiarity. This is a time-consuming process that is developed through the techniques above. Once you’ve got it, though, it’s invaluable for delivering your message.