I oftentimes get so wrapped up in my everyday juggling of different clients in different locations that it becomes easy to let a media pitch become an afterthought. I forget that the media sees a plethora of pitches every day and picks only a select few that they find appealing enough to actually pursue. As PR professionals, it is important that we step back and realize that pitches lead to coverage, and coverage – well – it’s the pot of gold at the end of the PR rainbow. So, what does it take to craft the perfect pitch?
Most of the time, we forget to make the pitch relatable. We overlook the fact that we are already familiar with the story, so the pitch may not explain it as well as it should. Recently, I was pitching a story about active seniors who inspire others to stay fit and keep their New Year’s resolution goals. The first draft of my pitch was boring because it didn’t explain why the media’s readers or viewers would be interested.
When you reduce a good pitch down to its essence, this is the element every reporter is looking for: a positive story that people actually relate to. I decided to add a personal anecdote of how the story helped me—which was completely true.
I always knew that after work I should go to the gym, but kept coming up with every excuse in the book as to why I should stay home and “exercise my mind via television.” But then I thought, “If 87-year-old Irma can get on the treadmill every day, then I can too.” I included my story of how this woman had inspired me to “hop on the fitness train” in the next draft of my media pitch, and then I waited. Sure enough, the replies came. Why? Because thousands of other people have the same internal argument every day and many would feel the same call to action when they heard this 87-year-old tell them to get off the couch.
So, before the next time you hit that “send” button, ask yourself if this pitch inspires or interests you. If it doesn’t, then a change is probably in order. Add to it what you personally relate to about the story, and when you lack inspiration, just look at Irma. She’s a go-getter who reassures you that you can do anything you set your mind to.