Pitching 101 Part 1: Know Your Client

Media Relations has long been a cornerstone of PR. Though not as all-encompassing for agencies and practitioners as it used to be, it is still an important skill every person who enters the profession needs to have.

The big thing that no one tells you about pitching: there is no secret perfect formula. What works with some journalists* will not work with others. This blog series, Pitching 101, outlines what I’ve found successful, and includes some tips and examples to help you draft better pitches. The key is to put in your research time – and by research time, I don’t just mean looking into the outlet and the reporter you want to have cover your client’s story. Which brings me to my first tip: Know Your Client.

Know Your Client

What about your client makes them newsworthy? What is their story? Is it just that they are launching a new version of their mobile app? Or is it that they are launching a new version of their mobile app based on industry feedback to better serve their users’ needs and solve XYZ problem?

Before I look into outlets and reporters that may be a good fit for my client’s story, I like to know what that story is. Knowing the different facets of a potential story helps me with putting together a list of who I want to send my pitches to. If my client is a startup that has a young female founder, there are two separate angles there – young entrepreneur, and female entrepreneur. These two stories are what we at The Agency call ‘quick wins’ as they are evident  even before we get into more detail about what her startup actually does and why she founded it – all of which are potential angles that journalists could be interested in.

Knowing your clients on this level also helps you take your media relations efforts beyond the initial launch or story placement. For example, if you pitch a client to a magazine and get placement, the other players in that outlet’s space are not going to want to write the same story, so you need to know what stories can be pitched to those other magazines in the following months.

What are your tips for pitching? Share them with us on Twitter on @PRTheAgency or in the comments section below!

*Journalists, for the purposes of this post includes all different types of reporters: print media, bloggers, radio, television reporters, etc.

Read Part 2 of the Pitching 101 series here. Read Part 3 of the Pitching 101 series here.

Pitching 101

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