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 for three positions listed below – Account Executive, Account Supervisor and Media Relations Manager.

Account Executive Job Description: 

In the Account Executive position, emphasis is placed on growing independent work within the areas of project management, client relations, media relations, digital/marketing, and/or lead generation among other skills. You are the face to our clients and will play an integral role in daily communication and should be able to demonstrate tactical excellence. 

  • Write client and internal correspondence effectively and with limited supervision.
  • Successfully plan and execute client activities such as media tours, digital and social campaigns, business missions and/or other special events. 
  • Proactively identify blog content story ideas and work with the supervisor to develop. 
  • Develop relevant blogs, e-newsletters and website content effectively and with limited supervision. 
  • 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. Efficiency with Canva, a plus!
  • Assist in the management of interns, when applicable. 
  • Be proficient in WordPress.
  • Easily navigate agency platforms such as Cision, TVEyes, Sprout Social, Sprinklr.
  • 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.

Apply for this open position by emailing Bethany Siems at bethany@ghidotti.com.

 

Account Supervisor Job Description: 
In the Account Supervisor position, a staff member will be responsible for assisting and managing the public relations, content marketing, digital media, account services and/or creative/strategy for clients. This position requires fully developed specialty skills, a strong understanding of the industry landscape and an understanding of client priorities and objectives.
  • Serve as the account strategist/lead and oversee/play a clear leadership role on at least three clients.
  • Manage the implementation of work plans and ensure client deliverables are successfully met on deadline.
  • Play a leadership role in the sales process by identifying additional services to sell to existing clients and assisting with RFP responses, new business proposals, presentations, etc. with senior leadership or independently.
  • Display a strong understanding of and effectively communicate Ghidotti’s service offerings to existing clients.
  • Successfully supervise at least one junior staff member, including providing guidance on their professional growth.
  • Begin to play a role in the agency’s marketing efforts, guiding aspects of certain campaigns and/or helping to execute in their areas of expertise.

Account Services: 

  • Play a clear leadership role in the planning and execution of integrated marketing campaigns for clients.
  • Develop and write comprehensive strategic marketing plans for clients.
  • Handle vendor contracts and ensure proper billing.
  • Demonstrate a clear track record of successfully meeting deadlines and timelines.
  • Handle day-of logistics on behalf of clients, responding quickly and effectively.
  • Assist in providing leadership and professional development on client relations, helping team members improve their skills in managing conflict, presentations, sales, etc.

Client Strategy: 

  • Develop or oversee the visual content creation for client materials, including e-newsletters, website content, digital campaigns, marketing collateral, etc.
  • Oversee the development of marketing materials and branding campaigns.
  • Manage creative marketing campaigns on behalf of clients.
  • Demonstrate a clear track record of leading brainstorms, and providing and implementing creative ideas for proposals, presentations, etc.
  • Continually provide new and ‘fresh’ ideas for proposals, new business proposals and current clients’ marketing campaigns.

Apply for this open position by emailing Bethany Siems at bethany@ghidotti.com.

 

Media Relations Manager Job Description: 

In the Media Relations Manager position, a staff member will be responsible for assisting and managing the public relations, content marketing, digital media, account services and/or strategy for clients. This position requires fully developed specialty skills, a strong understanding of the public relations industry landscape and an understanding of client priorities and objectives. 

Main Responsibilities – General: 

  • Serve as the account strategist/lead and oversee/play a clear leadership role on media relations client accounts.
  • Display a strong understanding of and effectively communicate Ghidotti’s service offerings to existing clients. 
  • Successfully supervise at least one junior staff member, including providing guidance on their professional growth.

Main Responsibilities – Media Relations: 

  • Develop strategic media relations plans, direct management and outreach for client accounts with the supervision of Senior Leadership.
  • Perform with Senior Leadership to prepare a plan for strategic crisis communications.
  • Manage and facilitate the execution of media relations outreach for special events, programs and major initiatives.
  • Perform as spokesperson and coordinates official responses to media inquiries.
  • Conduct media training with clients in preparation for external media interviews. 
  • Support framing and development of main message points for better positioning prior to media interviews.
  • Prepare speeches, talking points and varied communications materials assisting client spokespersons.
  • Write pitches, backgrounders, press releases, key messages and blog posts.
  • Manage and monitor reporter hotline, client media relations calendar, metrics, media relations processes and press release approvals.
  • Propose ideas proactively for media pitches to stimulate media coverage.
  • Consistently pitch stories and secure strategic media placements assisting client reputation and business goals.
  • Manage and supervise media events along with initiatives defining company stories.
  • Identify proactive stories for trade, business as well as consumer media across multiple client industries.
  • Develop and maintain close media relations to improve press efforts.
  • Identify brands promoting opportunities and improve awareness of services and products.

Main Responsibilities – Client Strategy: 

  • Develop or oversee the visual content creation for client materials, including e-newsletters, website content, digital campaigns (webinar/live stream events), etc.
  • Demonstrate a clear track record of leading brainstorms and providing and implementing creative ideas for proposals, presentations, etc.
  • Continually provide new and ‘fresh’ ideas for new business proposals and current clients’ PR campaigns.

Apply for this open position by emailing Bethany Siems at bethany@ghidotti.com.

 

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?

Apply for one of our open positions or just send us an email letting us know why you should be part of this Rock Star team. Email bethany@ghidotti.com.