We’ve heard most of these tips before, yet some PR professionals avoid them, giving the rest of us a bad rap.  I recently attended a PRSA lunch here in Chicago, and although it was supposed to be on healthcare media, it was actually more about what to do and not to do when pitching. 

While I did find the insight about media coverage on the election fascinating (they can’t wait for it to be over so they can have other things to write about!) They did stress the importance of doing your homework before you ever decide to even make a pitch.  Below are some simple things to remember, and the media will thank you for it.

  • Make it short — No one wants to have to scroll down to finish an email, they’ll delete it before they get half-way through.  Short but sweet is key.  But, be informative.
  • Do your research — Do not just blindly send a news release hoping it gets into the right hands.  Read what the reporters have written in the past and make sure this is who you want to send it to.
  • Provide many ways to be contacted — If a reporter likes the pitch, they don’t want to have to search through the news release to find your information.  Make your information available so the reporter can easily contact you.
  • Personalize the pitch — Not only do your research but let them know you did by personalizing the pitch.  Let the reporter know why you think their readers would be interested but make sure you’re correct when saying so!
  • Build relationships — Last, but not least, the media are people too, just like us.  Se!nd information that’s important to the reporter and in turn, build a relationship.  More than likely, the reporter will start calling you when they need experts.