Having a clear understanding of the varying media outlets and the types of articles they publish, not to mention building up strong relationships with the journalists behind the stories, form part of a successful sell-in.
But what else can we do to ensure that our pitches are well received? Here’s my top 3 tips for ensuring your story gets the coverage it deserves:
- Relationships are everything
With so many PRs out there, it’s important to remember that editors will be bombarded on a daily basis with products and stories that marketers are desperate for them to feature free of charge. This is where the ground-work comes in. It’s vital to build a trusted relationship with your key press contacts in order to get them on-side. Always be genuine, polite, fair and trustworthy. If you promise a certain amount of words and images by a certain deadline – ALWAYS adhere to this. Provide the images at the correct resolution and ensure the content you’re sending is interesting and relevant. It’s a mutual relationship – editors need good stories just as much as brands need to be featured in the press. Having those foundations there will help if an editor is let down last minute and suddenly has a space to fill.
- Do your research
As marketers we should always be reading the publications that we want our brands to be featured in. Subscribe and read through each issue diligently. As well as having a good knowledge of the types of articles that are run, it’ll give you an idea of tone and audience. Forward feature lists are invaluable – ensure you get these at the start of each year and highlight any that are particularly relevant for your brand/service offering. From here, plot the deadline dates in your diary to ensure you don’t miss out on any key opportunities.
- Get to the point!
When it comes to the actual pitch – remember that journalists are busy people, who are often in and out of the office. If you can’t get hold of someone over the phone, then don’t feel bad for emailing your synopsis across. This will give the editor a chance to digest the proposal in their own time and follow up via phone if needs be. The synopsis itself will need to be logical and concise – why would a magazine’s readers by interested in that particular subject, and why would it be a good fit for a particular issue.
To learn more about how we can help get your stories into your target publications, please get in touch.