Getting the attention of journalists and bloggers is an ideal way to get great publicity if you are a new entrepreneur. While many business owners will pitch themselves, others will use a PR agency. However, many of those pitches are ignored. This is largely because the story is just not interesting enough or useful to the audience. Unless the story is truly extraordinary, your pitch is not going to get you anywhere.
How to Pitch Successfully
If you are looking for media coverage in order to attract investors, gain clients, or to promote your new products and services, here are a few things you should remember.
Your Story Is Not Unique
Your story may seem fascinating and really unique to you because you have lived through it. To the reader, it sounds too familiar and claiming its uniqueness could negatively impact the rest of your pitch. A unique story is easy to identify and does not need to be branded as unique by the entrepreneur.
Don’t Justify Your Pitch
Do not waste your time explaining your need for publicity. The writer already knows the importance of publicity and is in that business. Remove phrases such as: ‘it’s a win-win relationship’ or ‘you want to make the world a better place.’ Your motives are not judged and these justifications are not necessary.
Identify the Journalist’s Interests
You need to know which type of stories the journalist or blogger you wish to approach prefers. Identify their niche and then craft your pitch to into something they cannot resist. It is very easy to identify the niche of the blogger by simply researching their work and career. If they have more start-up stories than marketing pieces, then that is the angle with which to approach them. Remember that you are trying to attract the blogger using their niche because they ultimately decide what will interest their audience, not you.
Identify the Journalist’s Recent Works
The easiest approach would be to send a pitch based on a story similar to what the journalist recently covered. Read the story and find the angle that the journalist may have missed. Of course, this could backfire. No journalist, blogger, or writer wants to go back to a topic they just covered. They are always looking fresh news and if the previous story was on start-ups, they will not repeat it.
Profiles Are Not Interesting
Pitching for a business profile will not bear fruit. The majority of readers are not interested in who you are or what you do… they just want a story. Therefore, the perfect pitch is a story about a valuable lesson learned from a mistake that you made. Teaching the reader how to avoid the pitfalls of starting a business without capital is valuable to the reader. Perhaps you learned the hard way how to build a market share strategy. If your story shows the reader how they can benefit in some fashion, they will continue to read it to the end result. Readers love to learn new things and while stories such as ‘4 simple methods to get investors’ are overdone, they still attract attention.
Less Is More
The more specific you are, the better your chances of having a successful pitch. No blogger will have the time to read a pitch with a word count of 1,000 words. If you are trying that hard to sell your pitch then there may not be much to say or benefit the reader. Give the facts, make the pitch simple, and direct. It is about the reader. It is also about the blogger and they want to entertain and inform their audience. Help the writer accomplish their goal and publish your pitch by placing publicity as the secondary goal and not the primary one. If for example you want to lure in a major client, explain how your sales process is now redefined to compete with major companies in your industry. You can also share stories on the lessons you have learned from lost clients and how you got back on track. The idea is to provide a story that will not interest you as the entrepreneur but your target audience. This means putting yourself in their shoes. For example, would you read business profile? Unless it is the business profile of a direct competitor, you will probably not want to read it. So why would you want to produce a piece that will not interest many? This strategy is a great example of how to put your need for publicity secondary. Pitching your business with a story on a prominent blog that accepts guest posts or any other medium requires tact. While it is good to have goals and envision massive publicity, your needs should not be the focal point of the pitch. Most entrepreneurs think only about how awesome it would be to have an authority blog run a story on their new products or services. This is a good goal as long as it is a blog that targets your kind of potential customer.
The story needs to address the reader’s needs and give them information about which they were clueless. They want to know how your product can benefit them and not how long it has been on the market or why you have a new package. Writing a good pitch is hard work but well worth the effort. When you provide solutions, the blogger will want to publish your story and readers will be more interested in it.