How to Make the Perfect Pitch and Land Coverage for Your Client

In the public relations industry, the pitch is key in receiving coverage for a client. Relationships with reporters and editors play a paramount role in securing media attention but more importantly, one must understand the reporter’s audience.

The most successful pitches are those that are tailored to the reporter and provide useful and interesting information — a good story. Stay away from generic information and always have a hook. Remember that you are talking to a person and the communication should be treated as such.

In addition to being authentic in a pitch, also keep it short and to the point.

Do Your Research

Before crafting an email to a reporter or editor, you must have an understanding of the audience you are trying to reach. By learning the interests and background information of your audience, you can determine which media outlet will be most effective in reaching that group. 

With countless magazines, websites, newspapers, blogs, podcasts and shows in the market, plus more popping up all the time, you have plenty of outlets to choose from, some of which might be specifically targeting your desired audience. 

After selecting the outlet you want to pitch, the next step is deciding which reporter or editor within that organization you need to reach out to. Most reporters cover a specific area or beat. Familiarize yourself with the previous work of different journalists to determine who would be most interested in covering that story. 

For example, if your client is a hospital, a sports editor or education reporter probably won’t be of much help. Instead, search for past articles or stories in the healthcare field. Chances are you’ll find a writer or newsperson who would be interested in delivering your message. 

Writing the Pitch

Now that you have determined the journalist who would be most interested in telling your client’s story, you are ready to craft the pitch. However, this step takes more than just sitting down and writing the first thing that pops into your head. You should be creative but still maintain professionalism. Get to the point quickly, but be clear with what you are trying to accomplish. 

When using email to pitch to the media, the subject line is crucial. This is your first impression and often will be the reason why the reporter elects to read your message or not. Avoid using generic subject lines such as “story idea” as these will almost assuredly be immediately sent to the trash . Try to put yourself in the reporter’s shoes, and craft your subject line similar to the way they might write the headline for the story. 

After writing an attention-grabbing subject line, address the journalist by name and state your intent. Much like the subject line, try to begin your message with a hook, but avoid overdoing it. Remember, you are writing as a public relations professional not a salesperson. 

Open with the lede of the story you are pitching and continue by providing additional details about why the reporter should consider covering it. Explain how the story would be appealing to that outlet’s readers, listeners or followers. With specific details needed to craft an effective pitch, it’s important to note that these should be unique for each recipient. Avoid using a template or reusing pitches for different stories as most media members can sense the lack of authenticity. 

As you conclude your pitch, include a date if the story is time sensitive and offer to provide additional information or help if needed. Also, be sure to thank the reporter for their time. Even if they elect not to pursue the story, they will certainly appreciate your sincerity and professionalism. 

Wait and Follow Up

When pitching to the media, do not expect an immediate response. Journalists are very busy and they receive a lot of emails, so it’s entirely possible that yours got lost in the shuffle or was simply overlooked. However, as time goes by, it’s perfectly acceptable to send a nudge to the reporter. 

Depending on when you are hoping for the story to run, do not hesitate to send a follow-up message after a few days or weeks. If you get no response on your follow-up, do not get discouraged. It’s highly unlikely that you will get a story from every pitch you send. Simply move on to another media member or outlet that might be interested in covering the topic. 

As is the case with any form of writing, you’ll get better at crafting pitches the more you do it, and not every pitch will be your best work. It’s important to have a short-term memory: Don’t dwell on your hits or your misses. Whether you successfully secured coverage from your message or got no response, stay confident, follow the same guidelines and you’ll be a media pitching pro in no time. 

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.
 

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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 an Assistant Account Executive! 

Assistant Account Executive Job Description: 

As an Assistant Account Executive, the staff member will assist the team in the execution of client activities and be exposed to all aspects of the basic services offered at the agency.

Main Responsibilities

  • Develop complete, accurate and effective lists using multiple information sources based on the agency’s resources. (Cision, online resources, etc.).
  • Write/prepare pitches, backgrounders, executive communications and various reports (as appropriate by service function) with supervision from the manager.
  • Effectively pitch and place stories for clients, with an emphasis on placement results (particularly local and regional media). (Digital-specific team members excluded).
  • Be adept at engaging in and creating content for digital media campaigns, including social media, paid campaigns (including early stages of copywriting), e-newsletters, etc.
  • Monitor for trends/marketing/story/lead opportunities that are client- or service-related. Keeping a consistent pulse on the industry trends within your client’s base.
  • Support special events such as media tours, receptions, luncheons, trade shows, grand openings, etc. 
  • Participate in group brainstorming sessions.
  • Continue advancing skills for InDesign, Photoshop and/or WordPress, as well as grasping overall design best practices (depending on position/department).
  • Continue advancing skills in agency platforms such as Cision, TVEyes, Sprout Social, Sprinklr.
  • Maintain relevant Google certifications for AdWords, GDN, Analytics or otherwise, adding at least one additional certification. (Digital team only)
  • Depending on the needs of the service area, responsibilities may extend beyond the items above as skill sets, client contracts and other extenuating circumstances dictate.

 

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