Biggest Mistakes Pitching to Media

One of the biggest mistakes a business owner can make when trying to gain the attention of an editor, producer or publisher is to “push” the story.

You are passionate about what you do and how you can help people, so it sounds good to start off with that, offering a description of your company, even launching into the background and history. You get caught up in the “why,” thinking just a few sentences like this is at the top is necessary to convey what you do.

But it’s counterproductive to start your email this way. Editors, producers and publishers receiving these emails have a miniscule amount of time to assess their content and relevance to their publication, online sites or TV shows. Sometimes all they have time for is a quick read of the subject line, and then if that grabs they’re attention, they’ll scan the first few lines of the actual email.

That’s all you’ve got to let them know how YOU are going to help THEM, not vice versa. How does your idea or content solve a problem that an assignment editor might have? This is the new way of thinking – a new structure for communication.

You must come from the point of view that an decision-maker in the media, like your clients, has some problem that needs solving. It might be to fill 2.5 minutes of air time right after the health report every day; it might be to fill a space for 650 words and a photo in a section on human resources; it might be to have a fresh, catchy news bite at the top of a newsletter they’ll be sending to 12,000 subscribers next week. Take the time to understand this problem.

So your first step is getting to know the media in which you want to see yourself. Watch, browse, read and listen to them. See where you can fit in and then focus your email on that. If you can show how you fit into a program or publication in the first few lines, you’ll be halfway home.

Join me on April 18, 10-11:30 for a free webinar that goes over all the elements writing a proper media pitch. Those who join me on the call and stay to the end will have a chance to win free access to a 7-part video series that takes you through the process step by step.

Baila Lazarus

Media Expert

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