Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Pitching to the Media and Doing Follow Up Calls

There are many exciting parts of public relations. One of my favorites is creating a pitch letter or press release and then pitching it to the media. I'm lucky enough to have had some experience with this thanks to PRowl, and here are the tips I can offer.

For pitching to the media:
  1. Once you have written your fabulous release or pitch letter and made sure it's perfect in every way, it's time to send it out! First, decide if you're going to personalize the emails or not. If you do personalize them, start with a professional greeting.
  2. After that, copy and paste the text into the body of the email. Make sure it looks the way it should (spacing especially.) No one wants to read sloppy text.
  3. After that, you can attach the document at the end of the email. Some people like to open them and read them in Word. Others are suspicious of attachments, because many times they carry viruses.
  4. After the email is finished, send it to yourself to make sure it comes out the way you want it to. If it does, go ahead and send the email to your media list!

*You can also fax releases, alerts and letters to your media list. In this case, make sure to use a cover letter.

For follow up calls:

  1. Before doing follow up calls, I like to make sure I have any information I might need in front of me. This way, I can answer questions without having to search for the answers.
  2. After the person answers your call, make sure to introduce yourself. Tell them your name, where you're from and what you sent them. It's also helpful to say what form you sent the information in, like an email or a fax.
  3. Make sure they have received the information, and ask them if they have questions about it. This is when you can offer them additional information, like pictures.
  4. If they have what they need, then thank them for their time and ask them to contact you with any further questions.
  5. All the while, be sure to speak clearly and slowly. Also, always be polite and professional. You never know when you'll be calling them again!

As always, feel free to send us your comments and advice!

2 comments:

Lauren said...

Always personalize/customize each pitch. No two pitches should look alike. Do your research and make sure you have found the right media contact, send them a targeted, direct and brief pitch. Follow up via email and phone. Never be afraid to call someone you want to get a story with!

Eric C. said...

Make sure you know what the writer WRITES about and their audience. Don't send a art pitch to a tech writer (unless you can somehow tie them together).

Always e-mail and follow up with phone call (unless the writer gets back to you). There's LOTS of writers that do not like phone calls just because they never get to their voicemails.