Successful PR pitching is definitely more art than science.
Businesses and PR firms sometimes fall into comfortable routines, re-using a successful formula with only slight modifications from one pitch to the next. Although formulaic processes work fine for fast food franchises, they aren't effective when it comes to landing prime PR placements. For PR wins, there's no substitute for creativity, ingenuity and cleverness.
At Walker Sands, we know a thing or two about pitching -- creating clever PR pitches is our bread and butter. And over the years we've learned that the best PR pitches not only need to stand out, they also have to communicate compelling reasons and incentives for PR targets to run with our clients' stories.
- Show, don't tell. Stellar pitches don't tell media contacts why your story is important -- they show them. Think about it this way: before your story can be told to a public audience, it first has to be told to reporters and journalists. In the same way that you demonstrate the value of your products to your customers, you need to demonstrate the value of your story to media contacts, sometimes using visuals, multimedia and other devices.
- Benefits before features. Let's say you're pitching an idea a unique recruiting strategy that has been successful for your company. You could drone on about the strategy's details . . . or you could quickly tell the media the results of your new recruiting method and how it can benefit other businesses or job seekers. It's a safe bet that the media will jump on the latter approach because in PR pitches, benefits always outweigh features.
- Personalize. Reporters like to have their egos stroked just as much as the next guy. Highly personalized PR pitches won't ensure a media placement, but they guarantee your pitch will receive serious consideration.
- Creativity vs. craziness. We're all for creative PR pitches. But we're also sensitive to the fact that the line between creativity and craziness can get blurry, especially for companies that attempt to conduct PR using inexperienced, in-house personnel. When in doubt, consult with a PR professional to make sure your pitches aren't crossing the line into the absurd.
PR pitches are a gateway to maximum brand exposure. At Walker Sands, we have the people and experience to create extremely clever PR pitches to gain high value media placements. If your pitches aren't panning out, contact Walker Sands and let our team do the pitching for you.