After a fantastic SMPS DC program last week, I left energized and enlightened.
Two top-notch professionals presented their sides of the story, when it comes to pitching the media. Karen Nussle, owner of Ripple Communications (@karennussle on Twitter), and Katie Weeks, editor of Eco-Structure magazine (@katieweeks on Twitter) shared the ins and outs of media relations in a concise and relevant fashion for all of the communications professionals in the room.
There were so many fantastic pieces of advice flying around that it was hard to capture them all, but one of the things that stuck out the most to me was the focus on making an editor’s life easier. I felt like it was rattling around in the back of my head all along, but it wasn’t until they said it that it really dawned on me – THAT’s what we should be doing as marketers and PR professionals.
Our pitches aren’t about us, and they shouldn’t be written for us; they’re about the editors and ultimately the readers. Here are three, quick related pieces of advice in my own words.
Help Them Find the Story – Don’t just email over a release about a project, explain why it’s a story worthy of their publication or website. If you can’t do that then don’t send it.
Avoid Pitching Competing Pubs, or Be Honest If You Do – Nobody wants to feel like they got scooped or waste time working on a story that is already running somewhere else.
Know the Pub You’re Pitching – Don’t waste time pitching stories that already ran or sending in information about your latest groundbreaking to a pub that doesn’t run project profiles.
At the end of the day, everybody has a job to do. Content publishers are hungry for good stories, and your firm is hungry for good coverage. Know when you have a solid pitch and put the effort into matching it with the right pub.