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5 Rapid Response Pitching Tips From Our Experts

Elizabeth Snell

Elizabeth Snell

When news breaks, it can be an opportune moment for your client to join the conversation and establish themselves as a strong thought leader. However, rapid response pitching is a balancing act: you want to be timely but also ensure your pitch is relevant. So, how can you successfully walk that fine line? We asked several of our employees what should be kept top of mind in the rapid response pitching process.

  • Erica: Put yourself in the reporter’s (and ultimately, their readers’) shoes for an effective and successful rapid response campaign. Ask yourself if your client is truly qualified to provide an expert opinion, and if that opinion is differentiated enough to offer new, compelling information. Assuming the answer to both questions is yes, fire away — and quickly!
  • Sam: Only recommend rapid response to your clients when the breaking news falls directly in their wheelhouse and they have something valuable to add to the conversation. The goal is to stand out as a reliable and knowledgeable source for the situation and similar ones in the future. If your client is just saying something to say something, they’ll likely be written off by journalists moving forward.
  • James: Timeliness is key to insert a brand into the early stages of a developing and potentially viral story. Have a set process to funnel thoughts from subject matter experts to the PR team within hours, not days. Also, try for a bold or counterintuitive PoV that adds to the conversation or the newsworthiness of a trend.
  • Angelica: Be flexible and creative in what you’re offering reporters based on when you insert yourself into the news cycle. If reporters already covered a story, send commentary on the broader trend and provide a follow-up idea that might be of interest. Most importantly, remember that you’re there to help — ask if there’s an insight they may be looking for in case you’re able to provide it.
  • Rebecca: Offer a vendor-neutral perspective from your client on that story that introduces a little-known detail or new angle beyond what has already been reported, while avoiding speculation. Encourage clients to provide insights that readers may not have previously considered or advice with a tangible takeaway. Say something bold to stand out in a journalist’s crowded inbox and establish your client as a leading authority.

Ultimately, it takes bold stances, valuable takes and timely pitches to get your client above the fold when there’s breaking news.