In this article, you will learn how to find the right media outlets to promote your business, what should you say to reporters to convince them to cover your product, and what’s an elevator pitch.
How to Develop a Media Pitch that Gets Attention
Courting the media is like dating. While there are a lot of options out there, it’ll only work if you find the right partner.
There are 3 ways to find your media partners:
All jokes aside, research is incredibly important. A good place to start is online. We know, we know. The Internet is a big place. But that doesn’t mean finding your media match has to be intimidating.
You definitely don’t want to approach a reporter who has beliefs and values you disagree with, but the ones who feature your competitors or share your interests are a great place to start.
The 2 paths to getting press are called the vertical and horizontal approach.
The vertical approach is going after reporters who cover your industry and have written about your competitors. For example, imagine Michael owns Cats In Hats, a pet clothing store. He researches his competitor Kittee Klothing and sees that they’ve been featured on the blogs Cats Inc., Fashion Fancy, and All Cats All Day.
From this, Michael can identify media outlets that would feature pet clothing, reporters interested in cat-related stories, and the type of cat stories that get the press excited.
For the horizontal approach, you’d go after media outlets outside your industry that share your interests and values. For example, let’s say Michael uses the finest humanely-gathered wool to hand-knit each hat. He bases his hats’ unique styles on the latest trends. Every sale contributes to cat rescues.
Tip: The better you know your reporters, the easier it will be to pitch. So get familiar with their writing styles and interests, read their articles, and follow them on social media.
Once you’ve done your research, you’re ready to write your pitch. Keep it brief, respectful, and clear.
Think about the reporter you’re courting. Does your pitch match his or her story needs? What enticing, unique information are you offering? Are there any popular stories or current news items that your pitch relates to?
A reporter shouldn’t need to look for the angle in your pitch – you need to provide it.
Keep in mind that reporters get hundreds of emails a day. Your pitch needs to stand out from all the others. Let’s compare a not-so-great email and a super-effective one.
Below you will see how he should have drafted his pitch to get the editor/report’s attention. Let’s take a look.
You have noticed that there’s a great 3-sentence description of Cats In Hats in Michael’s email.
“I believe one cat’s style is another cat’s lifeline. I create fashionable cat hats, donating a large portion of the proceeds to local cat rescues. It’s a unique mix of animal haute couture and charitable endeavor.”
This is sometimes known as the “elevator pitch.” It’s a short, intriguing way to get people interested in your story. You can personalize an elevator pitch for each reporter you send it to.
For an arts & crafts blogger, Michael’s pitch would be: “Cats In Hats creates stylish head-wear for cats using fun, modern designs. We’re a fun mix of knitting devotees and cat lovers.”
For an animal rights columnist, his pitch would be: “Cats In Hats believes one cat’s style is another cat’s lifeline. We hand-knit and sell stylish cat hats, donating a large portion of the proceeds to local cat rescues.”
For a fashion editor, his pitch would be: “Cats In Hats brings haute couture to our four-legged friends. We hand-knit artful hats for felines – with designs inspired by the latest in human hat-wear.”
Tip: By catering each elevator pitch to the outlet you’re courting, you’re letting the reporter know you’ve done your research, you’re not sending a mass email, and you’re worthy of their time.