Five Steps for Rapid Response Pitching
In public relations, it’s important to know how you’re going to hit the ground running before a major story or announcement breaks. Time is critical when it comes to the news cycle and with a rapid response pitching strategy in place, your client will prepared to offer thoughtful commentary and insight to the media. Read on to learn the five essential steps for successful rapid response pitching.
Identifying the breaking news or announcement
The first step to rapid response pitching is identifying a breaking news story or announcement that your client can comment on. One way to go about doing this is to set up Google Alerts for keywords that are specific to your client’s industry, product, and/or services. It’s also a good idea to monitor breaking news in real-time on Twitter, as well as on key publications that are relevant to your client.
Flagging the news to the client and preparing a spokesperson
When a breaking news story hits, it’s important to flag the news as soon as possible to your client. This way, your client can quickly determine if the news is something that they’d like to comment on. Ideally, you will already have commentary prepared along with a spokesperson ready to speak to the media for instances of rapid response pitching, but depending on the news, it may be necessary to draft up original commentary on the spot.
Building a media list of journalists to target
Once you have decided to go ahead with a rapid response pitching strategy, you can get started on your media list. Depending on the type of breaking news, you may want to compile a list of journalists who have already covered the news with the hope that they will write a follow up article. On the other hand, you can also target journalists who have not covered the news, but may be interested in covering it within the next few hours or days.
Creating a rapid response pitch and sending out pitch to targeted journalists
Now that you have a list of journalists to target, it’s time to write the pitch. When writing your pitch, remember to offer you client’s spokesperson as a thought leader and a source of information. Stay away from selling your client’s product or service in the pitch. Rather, find a way to add value or a different perspective to the breaking news story or announcement. Once the pitch is ready to go, be sure to customize it for each journalist on your media list.
Securing interviews and landing coverage
After your pitches are sent out, it’s time to wait for the responses. Ideally, journalists will follow up with you for more commentary or interest in an interview with your client. The best case scenario of rapid response pitching is that your client will end up with coverage in a key publication. If you have yet to hear anything back, don’t be afraid to follow up. Good luck and happy pitching!