guide to pr
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Lisa Dyson, Vice President and Senior Strategist
July 02 2019

The Elle Woods Guide To PR Pitching

Be Responsive & Buzzworthy

Personally speaking, and I’m convinced Elle Woods would agree, few things get the endorphins going quite like exercise and good PR. While good PR might not keep one from shooting one’s husband like exercise, it can help you increase brand awareness and foster goodwill, which are equally as important! That said, if you want to get those endorphins going and don’t have the time to sweat it out at the gym, here are a few tips to keep in mind when pitching your story.  Here’s our Elle Woods approved guide to PR.

Not Everything Is Newsworthy

Here’s the deal, not everything you and your company does needs to be communicated via earned media. Utilize your website and social channels to communicate less monumental news. These platforms are great because you can control your message, and you won’t run the risk of annoying your media contacts with your emails and phone calls.

You might be asking yourself, “How do I know if it’s newsworthy?” This can sometimes be difficult to determine, especially if a boss or client is convinced their story is the bee’s knees.

When I’m in these situations, I like to ask myself a few questions to establish if I should whip up a pitch or look to owned (website) and semi-owned (social media) platforms to communicate the message.

Is it timely?

If the moment has passed, it’s probably not newsworthy. If someone else has beat you to the proverbial punch, it’s probably not newsworthy. If you only have half the details you need to tell an engaging and convincing story, it’s probably not newsworthy…yet. Timing is important, so make sure yours is on point.

Is it buzzworthy?

Is there already chatter about the overarching message that you could piggyback on? For example, does your story ladder up into the gender equality discussion or climate change? If you can ride the wave and maintain your uniqueness, do it!

Will it appeal to the general public?

If it’s timely, buzzworthy, AND has mass appeal; you have yourself a winner. Craft your pitch and press send! If not, don’t get too discouraged. You can also look to targeted media outlets with more specialization. 

Does it connect to the heart?

Does your story have a feel-good message? Human Interest stories are always a crowd pleaser, and you should be seeking out opportunities to pitch these when you can. We all need shining lights to get us through the day, and your brand or employee story could be one of them.

Know Your Pitch Target

Do your research and know whom you’re pitching. You don’t want to pitch the Grand Opening of The Buttery Baking Co. to the local health reporter. You also don’t want to pitch a story to anyone and everyone you see on Cision. Take the time to figure out the best fit and craft a unique pitch for them. You might even want to reference some of their recent work, so they can see you’re sincere. Journalists are people too, and they want to know they’re not just on your copy-paste-repeat list.v

Be Responsive and FAST

Our media friends are on constant deadline and don’t have time to lose waiting to hear back from you or your brand.

Be mindful of this, follow up, and provide them with the answers they need. If you need time to collect that information, it’s fine to say that, but make sure you do indeed follow up with the information requested. Just like you remember who ghosted you at the sorority date party, they remember who ghosted them on their story.

So, there you have it! Now you can pitch like a PR pro!

That said, if your happy place is on a reformer and not behind an iPhone and MacBook, feel free to call O’Keeffe PR and we’ll make sure you’re pitch perfect!

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