#PRStudChat social media and strategic communicationsMedia pitching.

You know what it is, but, as our leading #PRStudChat question asked last week, in a world where blogs are often more widely read than traditional media, and communication includes texting, emoji, DMing, and live video chat, how important is it?

Because, really, content is king, right (says the content creator)?

That said, if the PESO model has taught us anything, it’s that we need to integrate a number of distribution tactics into the communications mix in order to be consistently successful.

#PRStudChat: Dispelling the Mystery

This month’s PR Student Chat focused on dispelling the mystery around media pitching, so we recruited media pitching-expert Michael Smart to pull aside the curtain and provide some insight into the world of media pitching in today’s communications environment.

A former newspaper journalist, Michael has won national and regional awards for news release and feature writing.

He has also taught public relations courses at Brigham Young University, where he earlier earned bachelors and master’s degrees in communications with an emphasis in public relations.

Michael Smart dispenses PR wisdom every Thursday to more than 9,000 active subscribers to his popular email newsletter.

#PRStudChat: Redefining Media

Out of the gate, Michael made sure to address just what it means when we say “media”.

Makes sense, right?

Media is no longer limited to “traditional” media. In fact, some brands may not even want coverage from mainstream media, knowing that their desired audience trusts local content sources, or niche/micro influencers with a better understanding of their product or service.

In terms of how you can gauge that trust?

#PRStudChat: Characteristics of a Good Media Pitch

Okay. Media isn’t defined the same way it was back in the day (does that make me sound old?).

A blogger, Instagrammer, YouTuber, or Twitcher (is that what people on Twitch are called?) who are trusted by your audience fall nicely into the media category.

But do they follow the so-called “rules” of media pitching? By extension, do the same rules apply?

According to Michael, it’s just like content creation itself.

Is this timely? Relevant? Is it something the “media” outlet in question thinks their audience will be interested in? Cover those bases, and you will all be on the same page.

The key(s)? Research and strategy. Don’t underestimate the value of knowing your target audience, and the audience of the media you are pitching.

#PRStudChat: Unanswered Media Pitches 🙁

Ugh. Media pitching is hard. I sent a snappy email (yes, he also says email remains the best way to pitch), and my media pitch was still get ignored. Why?!?

Whoops. Did you do your research? Remember: Know your audience!

#PRStudChat: Media Pitching Tips

Apart from that? Michael has some tips:

Faux formality?

Some other examples!

And, an additional tip:

#PRStudChat: Check out the Chat!

We don’t want to give away all #PRStudChat’s amazing insights!

Please follow along on Twitter by checking out the hashtag results on September 20, 2018, or check out the feed below.

(Note: there were some minor technical glitches during the chat, so the feed below is a little out of order. Sorry!)

Remember, if you ever have questions before or during the chat, you can tweet @PRStudChat, @SpinSucks, @LKPetrolino, @ValerieSimon or @DBreakenridge with any questions you would like answered.

Otherwise, please join us in the free Spin Sucks Community where we discuss #PRStudChat themes at length, along with many other like-minded issues (we may get off track now and then, but that’s part of the fun).

About #PRStudChat

As always, PR Student Chat—co-founded by Deirdre Breakenridge and Valerie Simon—partners with trusted industry leaders to help shed light on the ever-changing issues that affect our role as professionals.

It helps students, and practitioners alike, learn from the experience and perspective of other industry professionals.

In addition, it’s a community where everyone can learn and grow together.

Please stay tuned for our next session, topic, and guest host.

Mike Connell

Mike Connell is the director of client services at Arment Dietrich, an integrated marketing communications firm. He is also a contributor to the award-winning PR blog, Spin Sucks, the leading source for modern PR training, trends, and insights. Find more of Mike's musings on his blog, Communative. Join the Spin Sucks   community!

View all posts by Mike Connell