This article will give you a first person account from a journalist showing you why most publicity pitches fail. Most pitches are looked at as spam! It will show you the mistakes most authors, small businesses and non-profits make when pitching the media to receive publicity. And it will show you the correct way to pitch the media to be interviewed.
As America’s Leading Media Pitch Coach, it is my job to keep up with how the media wants to be pitched for publicity coverage. There was a time when press releases were the norm, but now email rules for pitching.
But even it you are using email, most pitches still miss the mark by a wide margin.
After coaching over 1,000 people on how to their own publicity I see a mindset that leads to most of the mistakes people make when pitching the media. This is a mindset that causes them to throw out a large quantity of pitches via email in the hopes that something will stick.
I understand this desire to fire off a barrage of pitches. After all email is free and if you buy a list of contact, you might as well use it all, right? And who can argue that the more you pitch, the better your chances of getting a hit?
Well I for one can argue with this approach big time.
I see the “body count” of failure that comes from this approach. I see the thousands of people that think this is the only approach to use and then abandon their publicity efforts when it fails.
And then their book, business or non-profit dies from lack of promotion.
This tragedy can be avoided if you use the right system. And it doesn’t have to cost you a cent. Everything you need to do it right is free. No kidding.
I read an article by Gideo Lichfield over at qz.com entitled “ Dear PR person who just sent me a robo pitch ”. This is an eye opening article for those involved in the pitching process even if you are not a full time PR person. You must read this article if you are doing your own publicity.
The article is written from the perspective of a full time professional journalist that is on the receiving end of hundreds of pitches a day. As incredible as it sounds, most journalists, producers and even bloggers look at the pitches they receive as SPAM!
I mean these are the people you must reach if you want to be booked for an interview and they hate you.
Let’s look at some of the points the article makes. Now pay attention here, I am about to tell you stuff you will not hear anywhere else and it could end up saving your book, business or non-profit.
· Don’t buy contact lists of media personnel. They are out of date and misleading as to what people cover. Here is a tip from me, up to date and free information is available on the website for media outlets themselves. See I already saved you a bundle.
· You need to get to know a lot about the person you are pitching before you fire off a pitch. Know their “beat” for sure, but beyond that, are stories short or long, straight or funny, and so on. All cooking stories are not the same.
· Go for quality not quantity when sending media pitches. Concentrate on pitching a few journalists or producers with a tailored pitch, rather than “shotgunning” out a large number of poorly focused pitches (Spam).
· Make sure your pitches clearly state why your story fits that media outlet and that particular contact. Show them their audience is interested in your story.
· Have complete contact information in your pitch and make sure you promptly respond to a request for more information. Don’t let the big one get away because you did not return a call quickly.
· Always be ready for a call even though you never know when you will get a bite. Don’t send off pitches and then take a 2-week vacation. Be available 24/7, the media never sleeps.
Of course formulating the pitch itself needs to be done. This can be difficult if you book; small business or non-profit is at all unique. That is why I created the Quick Fame System. It comes with one on one phone coaching so we can create a pitch that is tailored to your unique set of circumstances.
Or if you just want to run a pitch by me, check out the One Hour Media Pitch Consultation. This is also done via the phone.
Oh and be sure and sign up for the Free special reports shown on the home page of this blog. Honestly they are great.
Questions or comments? Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
OK, good luck out there.
America’s Leading Media Pitch Coach.
Photo courtesy of qz.com