Publicity is one of the most powerful tools in a marketer’s toolbox. When done correctly, your company or product’s story can be shared with vast audiences. But how do you put your story in front of the right person who possesses the desire and ability to help you tell it?
If you’ve heard the answer is to distribute your press release to as many journalists as possible, immediately discard that information.
If your story is relevant, single out a few journalists and personally propose your story to each writer or producer individually. Journalists can receive up to 50 press release e-mails per day, and if they don’t have an immediate reason to care about your story, they won’t.
Personalized pitching is the most effective way to get press coverage because you’ve hand-picked members of the media who have a history of covering stories similar to yours, care about the space your product occupies and have an audience who feels the same way.
When you send a personalized pitch, the focus is on relationship building rather than mere persuasion. If you care about the journalist to whom you’re pitching, your relationship is likely to extend past one story and can help boost future partnerships.
If you’re curious about best practices of the personalized pitch, here’s some key tips from our PR specialist, Stephanie Goodwin.
Research the journalist: A Google search will show you endless amounts of their articles. Read them, get a feel for their writing style and what they typically write about. You can also check PR database software to further research their typical beats.
Visit the journalist’s social media accounts: Journalists spend more time on Twitter and Facebook than the typical consumer. It’s an easy place for them to follow sources on their specific beats, so you can better tell what he/she cares about.
Reference your research in your pitch: Be concise, but tell your journalist why he or she is the best person to cover your story. Personalize the email subject line, reference what your research about them told you, and draw similarities to their past work.
Pitching to just one journalist at a time can significantly increase your chances of getting that coveted targeted press coverage. Try these tips, and prepare to see your story get shared!