Deciding on What to Pitch — and When

As newsrooms continue to be downsized due to furloughs or layoffs, earning media coverage for your law firm is becoming more challenging. While media list research provides a starting point for your media relations practices, it’s only half of the battle. After you have identified and connected with the ideal news outlets and influencers to reach your target audience, you must determine how you’re going to approach a journalist with your story. Knowing what to pitch and when to do it could mean the difference between landing a story and having your pitch overlooked or ignored altogether. Here are some tips to help you decide. 

Relevant and Newsworthy

According to a study from Muck Rack, 43 percent of journalists receive five or more different pitches each day, so you want to make sure your story is worth their time. Put yourself in a journalist’s shoes. They’re committed to their readers, viewers or listeners just as your firm is to its clients. Focus on important and timely topics to ensure that your pitch has its best chance of being published. 

Staying up on current events and trends provides an opportunity to tie-in your own firm to the subject matter, but it must be done appropriately. Using the COVID-19 pandemic as an example, nearly any story related to the virus will be considered newsworthy but don’t try to force a connection to the virus if one doesn’t exist. Of course you want to be a part of the conversation, but trying to wedge your way in can be counterproductive and damage your relationship with a journalist. 

Quality Over Quantity

From newspapers and magazines to television and radio stations, there’s no shortage of media outlets for your firm to contact, but that doesn’t mean you should mass send your pitches to everyone. Journalists are bombarded with story ideas each day and lack of personalization is the number one reason they ignore an otherwise relevant pitch. Remember that working with the media is about developing relationships. Tailoring your pitch to an individual rather than a group will go a long way toward securing coverage and maintaining that positive relationship.

One way to improve the likelihood that your pitch is considered is to offer an exclusive. Approximately 75 percent of journalists say they are more likely to cover a story if offered an exclusive. The right pitch to the right reporter can be beneficial for both parties. You get third-party credibility to improve your firm’s brand awareness, website traffic and social shares, while they get a story that no other news outlet has. 

Timing is Key

You never know when a story idea is going to hit you. Maybe it’s late at night, you’re winding down with your favorite Netflix show and suddenly an amazing topic comes into your mind. It’s probably a good idea to get your pitch out immediately before you fall asleep and forget right? Wrong. Knowing when to pitch is almost equally as important as knowing what to pitch. 

Nearly 65 percent of journalists prefer to be pitched before noon, compared to just four percent who prefer the evening. If you think of your brilliant idea at a different time, write it out and save it as a draft to send at the opportune time. With 62 percent of journalists having no preference, the ideal day of the week isn’t as cut and dry. However, Monday is the most preferred day for approximately 20 percent. 

Engage Without Being Pushy

We all know that feeling. You have a great idea and it’s practically spewing out of your mouth because you’re so excited to share it with someone else. While it’s important to be passionate about your firm’s story, rein it in when pitching to the media. Email is the preferred method for journalists to receive a pitch, so resist the temptation to pick up the phone and overwhelm them with your own excitement.

That doesn’t mean to flood your message with enough information to fill up a book. Less is more when it comes to pitching as 61 percent of journalists prefer them to be less than three paragraphs. Get to the point and prove the worth of your idea quickly to ensure the best chance of securing a story for your firm. You can follow up if you don’t get a response, but limit it to just one additional email at least three days after your first pitch. 

Keep in mind that even when you do everything right, not every pitch is going to turn into a story for your firm. Even the most well-written ideas can still be passed over by journalists. Think of yourself as a baseball player in the batter’s box for this practice. Even when you strike out, there’s always another opportunity coming and even Babe Ruth only got a hit in 34 percent of his at-bats. 

SAME process. Unique results.

If improving lead generation is a priority to your law firm, we would love to be your partner. Schedule a free 1-hour consultation.

Schedule Now

McDonald’s

Marketing / Communications

We help one of the world’s best brands increase sales and guest counts through reputation management and content marketing that successfully maximizes paid media efforts.
 

Find out how.

Close

Request Your Guide to Ghidotti!

We’d love to start a conversation with you about how we can create results for you. First step? Request your very own Guide to Ghidotti to learn more about our public relations and content marketing firm. This is a look inside our agency and will give you a good feel for who we are, what we do and how we partner with our clients to move the needle.


Close

Are You the Next Rock Star on the Ghidotti Team?

The Ghidotti Team is overflowing with full-fledged rock stars. Sure – we’re looking for the best, brightest, most creative, most organized. You get the picture. But what we REALLY want is someone who we can laugh with, depend on, learn from and do great work together. Learn more about who we’re looking for and what you can expect.

Ghidotti is currently hiring a Media Relations Specialist and Fall PR Intern! 

Media Relations Specialist

The media relations specialist should possess superb project management and organizational skills, as well as excellent communication and interpersonal skills with the ability to multitask in a fast-paced environment.

To ensure success, media relations specialists should demonstrate fantastic time management, great creativity with a keen interest in creating and implementing cost-efficient and effective media campaigns, as well as effectively analyze the impact of campaigns on the company’s bottom line.

By assisting the team in the execution of client activities and learning the basics of services offered across all areas of the agency, the media relations specialist will play a crucial role in supporting client service teams. 

Main Responsibilities

  • Write client and internal correspondence effectively and with limited supervision.
  • Develop content for broadcast, print and online distribution channels to include press releases, media advisories, blogs, e-newsletters and website content with limited supervision.
  • Negotiate with media channels to close competitive deals.
  • Serve as the agency’s media liaison and formal spokesperson, and effectively place client messages and spokespeople in target media outlets.
  • Scan the media marketplace to keep up-to-date on the latest media trends.
  • Successfully plan and execute client activities such as media tours, digital and social campaigns, business missions and/or other special events. 
  • Proactively identify story ideas and work with the supervisor to develop.
  • Successfully manage independently the execution of all client content calendars, which can include media relations pitch calendars, blogs, social content and paid media campaigns.
  • Exhibit competency and efficiency in drafting copy for client marketing materials and/or campaigns, such as website content, e-newsletters, collateral materials, paid media campaigns, etc. 
  • As it relates to social/digital media, regularly suggest ideas, manage the planning, and comfortably execute campaigns on behalf of clients. 
  • Assist in the management of interns, when applicable. 
  • Monitor all campaigns, and report on results.
  • Build long-term relationships with media houses.
  • Easily navigate agency platforms such as Cision, TVEyes, Sprout Social, Sprinklr.

 

Fall PR Intern

We’re looking for a resourceful go-getter who enjoys fast-paced work in an agency environment and is eager to learn the ins and outs of public relations, media relations, social media management and content marketing.Our team members are expected to complete high-quality work, juggle multiple tasks, keep projects on track, and be accountable for results. The right candidate will be a motivated problem-solver who will thrive in a deadline-driven environment.

Responsibilities:

  • Writing for social media
  • Posting to social media platforms (Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter)
  • Creating Canva graphics
  • Brainstorming/Researching Ideas
  • Logging media clips
  • Assisting with video production and Facebook lives for clients
  • Building media contact lists
  • Uploading content to content management sites for clients
  • Assist with client events
  • Media Relations outreach
  • Attend internal meetings and potentially take notes for client meetings
  • Assist with office errands and organization
  • Assist with general project management and scheduling

What We Want:

  • Experience with writing/posting to social media sites and using Canva is preferred.
  • Experience with photography and/or video creation or production is a plus.
  • Creative problem-solver
  • Organized and able to prioritize work under pressure
  • Strong organizational and time management skills
  • You are resourceful.
  • You are humble.
  • You know what needs to be done because it just comes naturally.
  • You are accurate with an attention to detail.
  • You follow instructions.
  • You have a life outside of work that you love and nurture.
  • You love learning new things.
  • You ask questions when appropriate and know how to Google the simple things like your life depends on it!
  • You treat our clients and your team members with respect.
  • You are funny.
  • You are caring.
  • You are a good friend and co-worker.
  • You are creative and think of brilliant ideas in your sleep.
  • You are resourceful. It’s so important that we’re mentioning it again!

Rock Star Environment

We strive to create a fun, engaging atmosphere where high fives, chicken minis, and celebrations are commonplace. We lift one another up, honor achievements and reward hard work.

  1. Professional Enrichment

    Whether instructor-led, web-based or sharing during Fireside Friday, we are always learning more!

  2. Community Engagement

    We love the state of Arkansas. Our team enjoys outings to locally-owned businesses and pride ourselves on community involvement. In addition, employees are often offered free tickets to community events to get out and enjoy life with friends and family.

  3. Team Building

    Quarterly adventures for the team!

  4. Winter Recess

    We shut this place down at the holidays so we can all rest, relax and reinvigorate for the new year.

  5. Summer Fridays

    We get an early jump on the weekend every Friday during the summer.

  6. Volunteer Time Off (VTO)

    Along with your PTO, you also get VTO to use to support your favorite charity or organization.

Does this describe you?

To apply, please submit the following via email to careers@ghidotti.com

  1. Cover letter and PDF of your resume 
  2. References: 2-3 minimum
  3. Tell us how you heard about this position