How to get Media & Press Coverage for your business
Secrets, strategies, and tools from a PR Insider to help you get maximum media exposure
Hi! I am Kris Ruby. I have been successfully executing public relations campaigns for brands, entrepreneurs, and doctors in private practice for over twelve years. In this article, you will learn about the power of the press for your business. Think about your favorite magazine, trade publication, or blog you want to be in.
Can you imagine yourself being featured in national media outlets, podcasts, magazines, TV stations, and talk shows? Read this article to learn the insider tips, tools, and techniques to make it happen.
Press and media exposure leads to new partnerships, opportunities, and speaking engagements for your business.
Instead of trying to find the right customers, clients, and patients, imagine if they found YOU first through the media?
Benefits of PR for your business and medical practice:
- Increase major traffic to your website
- Get in front of a specific audience
- Raise your visibility
- Increase validation and legitimacy from third-party endorsements
Media Pitching Tips from a PR Pro
How to pitch to the media?
How can you craft the perfect pitch to a reporter? The truth is, pitching the media is an art and a craft. It isn’t as simple as doing just one or two things perfectly. You have to meet a set number of criteria that depend on several different variables at any given time.
In this Media Pitching guide, we break down what you need to know to increase the likelihood of your pitch getting picked up by top TV producers, reporters, and journalists at your favorite publications, newspapers, and magazines.
What strategies do you use to pitch the media? PR Expert tells all
In this article, we will answer:
- How do you pitch a story to a newspaper?
- How do you pitch an exclusive story to a journalist?
- How do you pitch a book to the media?
- How can I get my story on TV?
- Our proprietary 5-step process to securing press coverage
How do you pitch the media like a pro? Keep reading..
What is a Media Pitch?
A media pitch is an email to a journalist, booker, producer, or reporter that outlines the newsworthiness factor of the story you are trying to get on air through earned media coverage. The goal of a successful media pitch is to get the TV station, reporter, or podcast host to feature your business. Ideally, the media pitch will “sell” why the media should give your business or product free air time, as opposed to advertising, which is paid air time.
The goal of a media pitch is to ask the media outlet if they are interested in featuring your product, brand, or newsworthy item. A media pitch could result in a successful press placement, which includes being quoted, featured, mentioned, linked to, highlighted, or blasted to a select group of people that have opted to tune into the news from that media outlet.
TL;DR: Media visibility equals expanded trust, authority, and credibility with your target audience.
What makes a good PR pitch?
A good PR pitch is concise, has a clear call to action, and contains actual news. It is not self-promotional and it is focused on how you can be helpful to service the media’s incoming requests around breaking news stories.
“A good PR pitch has to grab you. It can’t be marketing fluff. It has to actually say this is who I am and this is how I can help you. It’s as simple as that,” said Jon Troman, the Host of Not Another Marketing Podcast.
“If the subject line of the email pitch doesn’t interest you and you didn’t think to yourself, my audience is going to be interested in that, then the PR pitch just goes in the trash bin.”
Listen: A Media Outreach Masterclass
How do media pitches differ from press releases?
Media pitches are the best way to get your story heard in today’s competitive news environment. Press releases are better used for company announcements, events, or corporate communications PR campaigns.
When should entrepreneurs write a media pitch vs. a press release? Nine out of ten times, we always suggest writing a custom email pitch vs. a press release.
Pitches should ideally be sent to a reporter through email, whereas press releases can be submitted through the wire.
Reporters are inundated with story pitches. If you want to break through the clutter, don’t rely on wire services to transmit news. Reporters get their news and story tips from the contacts they have relationships with.
By the time it hits the wire, it loses the newsworthy factor, and a sense of exclusivity.
Pro Tip: Reporters are always looking for the next scoop. Give it to them directly- not through the wire.
How do you pitch a business story to national media?
Pitching national media is not the same as pitching local media. If you are pitching a story at a national level, it must have a national appeal. For example, the cost of gas price and inflation is a national story. If a small business owner can no longer afford to pay for gas to go to work, and they lost their job as a result, that would be a local story. If the employee worked for a national chain like Walmart, the story would have national ‘legs’ and could be of interest on a national level.
If you want to pitch a story to national media, it must impact a wide audience all over the country. The impact of the news cannot be limited to the jurisdiction you reside in.
Why is pitching the media important?
Without pitching the media, chances are, no one knows you exist. What was once hot, is now… not. The reporters that covered you a decade ago most likely switched outlets, meaning all of the hard work you did with a PR firm you hired years ago no longer counts.
Pitching the media is a continuous process.
Journalists move around from outlet to outlet. Beats change. Publications fold and go under. The only way to maintain exposure is to maintain a constant presence of being in front of the new people who are responsible for reporting, booking, producing and pitching stories. Plus, they always want fresh faces and new talent. What does this mean for you? You have to constantly be in a cycle of reinventing yourself to stay current.
PITCHING A STORY TO THE MEDIA
How do I get the media’s attention?
Think like a reporter. Journalists write about stories that will be helpful to their readers. Producers create segments that are interesting to their viewers. Podcasters create content that is of interest to their listeners. If you want to be covered by any of these media outlets, the key is to think about what is most interesting to their audience. Develop pitch angles from a journalist’s perspective, not from your own. It’s not about what is interesting to you; it is about what is interesting to them and their audience.
Solve Problems. Reporters are always interested in uncovering new solutions to current problems that their readers may be facing. For example, maybe you have a unique take on vaping that hasn’t been covered. Propose a solution instead of saying what the problem is. Anyone can share the problem. Your unique perspective as a practitioner and expert source is what is of interest to a reporter. Journalists want to write about business topics that will help their readers. Your pitch should be a solution, instead of a way to brag about your company.
Time your pitch with the news cycle. Be able to answer the question: Why should a reporter write about this today? For example, if you are pitching a story about boating safety, it is unlikely that a reporter will be interested in covering this in the middle of a hurricane warning. Use common sense.
SECRETS TO PITCHING JOURNALISTS:
PR Tips & Tricks:
How do you pitch to the press?
The #1 way to pitch the press is by answering the 4 W’s first! So, what are the 4 w’s?
Before pitching a story idea, always be sure to address the following:
- Why this?
- Why now?
- Why should they care?
- Why should this be covered in the media?
How do I ask for media coverage?
Breaking news: no one cares
- Ask for what you want. Be specific
- Support the ask with a “why” Please write about me is not a why. It is self-serving. Tell the reporter why they need to cover the story. What are they missing out on by not covering it? If they do not cover what you pitch them, are they covering up a crime that they have record of in your email? Are they neglecting to cover workplace harassment on social media? Do you have insider knowledge of a political scandal?
- Sometimes, a reporter will want to cover what you are pitching because by not covering it, they are implicating themselves in a larger story of covering up something they have notice of. However, your new product launch or business announcement doesn’t fall into this category.
- If you can tie your message into what the community cares about where you live, you will have a much greater chance of getting your story placed.
- Make it only about you and you will have a 100 percent chance of failing. This is the #1 most lethal mistake most entrepreneurs make when they pitch themselves to the media.
Media Pitching 101
How to pitch a story to a journalist
The best media pitches include:
- A strong angle
- A subject line that references the article topic and outlet
- A personalized pitch
- A news peg
- Contact info of the source
- Pitch a targeted message
- Have an expert available to comment or provide quotes
- Pitch a targeted story to the beat they cover.
A media pitch should anticipate the questions a reporter might have and give them just enough information to want more.
Journalist Pet Peeve: Fluff, puff & non-stories
The worst media pitches are vague, lack a hard news peg, and do not obtain the interest of a journalist.
“If somebody says there is a story, but there isn’t actually a story. For example, if they say, we’re very excited about this new product that will optimize our ability to provide excellent services to our customer base. Come on, everyone knows that is puffy or fluffy. There’s no meaning to it.” -Noah Smith, Washington Post reporter
Media Pitching Tips
How do you effectively pitch the media?
Making connections with broadcast and print media is vital to the success of your public relations campaign, but as the old saying goes, “You only have one chance to make a first impression.”
Just because you think you have a great pitch idea doesn’t mean you’re ready to start pitching the media. Before you hit send, here are several steps to ensure that you maximize your chances at scoring national earned media coverage.
Components of a PR pitch message: facts, features, benefits.
HOW TO PITCH A STORY TO THE MEDIA
How do you write a publicity pitch? Follow these tips to learn how to write a PR pitch to editors.
10 tips to maximize your chance of scoring top-tier press coverage.
How do you pitch a company to the media?
Write the story you want told. Create a package that journalists can pull directly from complete with high-resolution photos, a bio, and a fact sheet. Reporters want you to write the outline of the story for them so they can pitch it to their editor to see if it would be a good fit. Of course, they will rewrite everything you are sending and further flesh out the details, but it helps if you can paint the picture for them of the story you want shared. Use numbers and statistics to strengthen credibility. Most importantly, always provide accurate, factual information. Don’t get blacklisted for providing inaccurate information to a reporter.
PR Tip: Be disruptive. Is your business disrupting the status quo in a specific industry? If so, point that out and show how.
Pitch the right editor. It sounds simple, but editors and producers move around frequently, and you could be pitching an editor who moved on to another publication six months ago. Take a few minutes to research the newspaper or TV station to make sure that the journalist is still on staff and that you have the right spelling of their name. For example, you’re about to pitch a media outlet a great segment idea about your newest product, but the contact name on your media list is actually the name of the entertainment editor. Make sure that you have the right person for your pitch and the correct email address. Also, don’t assume that the entertainment editor will send the pitch to the correct editor for you.
PR Tip: Sending a blanket pitch to everyone on staff is always a bad idea. Make sure your pitch is targeted to the right editor.
Watch and read the news. Are you pitching The View? Make sure you’ve watched a few episodes. Are you pitching The New York Times travel editor? Read the section before pitching. Refer back to previous articles the journalist has written to make sure your pitch is focused on what they currently cover. Oddly enough, most people who pitch the media make the mistake of never researching them first. Consume the media like it is your full-time job. Study the publications that competitors are mentioned in and contact those media outlets first. Your story must have a “breaking news” factor and value to it. Evergreen content is great for your website, but not so great if you are pitching the media.
PR Tip: Watch the news. Read the publications that you want to get coverage in.
Time your pitch. Confine your pitching to the media on the days your pitch is most likely to be opened. The best days for pitching journalists are Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday. Emails sent on Friday will get pushed down by all the other pitches coming in over the weekend.
PR Tip: A recent study showed that most journalists prefer to receive pitches in the morning vs. in the evening.
Include a news peg: Make sure that you actually have a newsworthy PR pitch. Sending an email to a producer asking if they want to do a story about your company with no compelling news peg will land your pitch in their trash folder. Your PR pitch should include a specific idea and everything the producer will need, including quotes, photos, background information, etc.
PR Tip: Craft an electronic press kit (EPK) well before you pitch the media so that if an editor or producer reaches out, you can easily send it.
Don’t oversell: When pitching the media, leave out the jargon and, whatever you do, do not tell a journalist that you’re the first company to ever do so-and-so unless you can back it up. Also avoid using industry jargon including popular phrases like cutting edge, breakthrough, top, leading, and any over words that will immediately be cut.
PR Tip: Fact check your own fluff and hype.
Write a great headline: Editors won’t click on emails unless the subject line interests them, so make sure you create a compelling one. Oprah Winfrey reportedly received 15,000 emails a day from people pitching various products and ideas. Make sure your story idea stands out.
PR Tip: Ask yourself, “How can I make sure my pitch is read when someone is receiving 15k emails daily?”
Don’t pitch through social media. Facebook and Twitter are great tools to promote earned media coverage, but they shouldn’t be used to pitch editors. Mikal Belicove of Forbes says that pitching him through Twitter isn’t “cool.” Instead, he says in this article, pitch him privately.
PR Tip: Pitch through email instead of via direct messaging on Twitter.
Give Ample Lead time: A Mother’s Day story idea shouldn’t be pitched the week before the big day if you are pitching a traditional publication. Newspapers need a few weeks of lead time while magazines work even further ahead. However, if you are pitching a broadcast outlet, the segment may be put together the day of with only a few hours notice from start to finish. Plan your pitch calendar accordingly.
PR Tip: Learn when newspaper deadlines are. Don’t pitch a story an hour before a reporters deadline. Insider tip- Request an editorial calendar through the advertising department to get a look at what stories will be covered for the year ahead.
Do not call reporters. In the past, public relations professionals were encouraged to follow up with a phone call to the media to see if their pitch garnered any interest from reporters. However, today, thanks to technology, editors are so bombarded with calls and emails that the protocol has changed. It’s okay to send one follow-up email, but if you don’t hear from the journalist after that, assume they aren’t interested. The majority of reporters would prefer to be pitched through email. If they want to move forward, they will either email you or call you back to flesh out booking details.
PR Tip: Pick up the phone to pitch reporters after they have expressed inter9est in your pitch, not before!
You will not get media coverage because your business exists. This is not newsworthy after your first year in business. You have to come up with timely angles, hooks, and pegs to capture the interest of the media. The ability to continuously capture the interest of media and reinvent a company over and over again to tell new stories with key messaging is what our PR firm does particularly well.
I always say it’s called earned media for a reason, earn it.
HOW TO WRITE A MEDIA PITCH
How do you pitch a story to a journalist?
How do you start a media pitch? For starters, draft your pitch in Microsoft Word or Google Docs and start out with a simple “Dear X (insert reporter’s name).”
Next, bullet out the main points you want to include and close out your pitch with contact information and any press assets that add to the media pitch.
What should a media pitch include? Writing a pitch letter to the media (free PR tips!)
- Read the last few months of content the reporter has written (search on Muck Rack).
- Check out the reporter’s Twitter feed to see what they are currently covering and tweeting about.
- Understand what the reporter covers, how they cover it, and the format they cover it in. For example, don’t pitch a profile piece if they typically write round-up articles.
- Craft a pitch that mentions their previous work and what your story idea is.
- Tell the reporter why they should cover this idea and how it ties into what they currently write about.
- Answer the 4 W’s mentioned above.
- Explain why your pitch is perfect for the publication and why they have to cover it now.
- Is your pitch time-sensitive? Does it tie into a breaking news story? Is it an exclusive? Let the media know.
HOW TO GET FREE PR FOR YOUR BUSINESS
Get more media exposure and backlinks using this free PR growth hack
Our guide on how to pitch the media would not be complete if we left out HARO.
Keep reading to learn how to pitch reporters using a free publicity service called HARO.
How can I get free publicity for my business?
If you choose not to hire a PR firm, one of the best ways to get free PR for your business is by utilizing HARO.
What is Help A Reporter Out (HARO)?
HARO is a free publicity tool that connects sources with journalists working on stories in real-time looking for subject matter experts to quote.
HARO is ideal for:
- Brand building
- Increasing earned media coverage & awareness
- Link building
- Forging new relationships with journalists
How do you use HARO effectively?
Yes, HARO does enable business owners to essentially act as their own PR firm, but that is really an oversimplification of what Public Relations agencies do. There are many intricacies that go into writing a pitch and getting it placed.
So, even though technology has made the tools available for free to connect with journalists, it doesn’t mean that every business owner has the skill set to write and craft pitches at a higher level and in a way that will resonate with reporters (and that follows best practices).
In order to use HARO effectively, you need to know how to give the reporter what they are looking for.
After responding to thousands of HARO queries and getting hundreds of media placements through HARO, here are my top tips for writing a successful HARO pitch to gain earned media coverage.
What are some problems with HARO?
- Sources inflate & falsify their credentials
- Unverified sources
- Spam & clickbait for low domain authority websites
- Attention-seeking backlink behavior
- Answering queries out of scope
How do you write a successful HARO pitch?
1. Provide substantive details pertaining to the story a journalist is writing.
2. Do not ask reporters if they want to see more information. Instead, provide this information upfront.
3. Give reporters what they are asking for.
4. Provide contact details of the source and subject matter expert in the pitch.
5. Answer the questions in a timely fashion (and by the deadline!).
6. Include relevant bullets to break up your pitch.
How to use HARO to get publicity
Ideally, you want to make sure website visitors from HARO query mentions convert to new leads and customers. The best way to do this is to make sure you are spending time answering the right types of HARO queries versus replying to every PR query in your feed.
How do you respond to HARO queries?
Before replying to a HARO query, ask:
- Is the query relevant to my industry?
- Is the query from a high-profile website?
- Hint: Skip anonymous queries.
- Do you meet all of the writer’s credential requirements to answer the query? If not, skip it.
Review the type of media outlet
- Is it a national outlet, or is it anonymous? If it’s anonymous, we’re most likely going to skip it because it’s too big of a gamble.
- Next, I look at the deadline. Do I think that I can get the answer from the client before the deadline? If I don’t think that I’m not going to pitch it, I’ll let them know about the opportunity. But that’s always really important.
- Carefully review the source criteria and qualifications. Is my client the best possible source for what they’re looking for? Maybe there’s a query where there are five health questions, but they really want a nurse and not the type of doctor that I have who can answer the question. So that’s something else I’ll look at. I go through the internal media assessment checklist.
Should I answer anonymous queries on HARO?
It’s 50-50 and can really go either way. Sometimes, an anonymous query or “cloaked” query can actually be a major outlet, but they have an internal editorial policy, which may state they don’t want someone else scooping up the story and they prefer that their writers not use HARO. That reporter may post the query as anonymous so that technically it doesn’t look like they are using the service.
Another reason the reporter may post the query as anonymous is because it is from a much smaller site and they know that no one is going to answer their query if they say, “This is for my hole-in-the-wall blog that no one has ever heard of.” It’s a gamble!
PR-Checklist Before Pitching the Media:
Before you pitch the media:
- Launch personal branding website that showcases your previous media appearances
- Create a blog with at least ten in-depth thought leadership articles to showcase your subject matter expertise
- Hire a personal branding photographer and have product shots and your executive headshot ready to go
- Use artificial intelligence to update your executive biography
- Update your media list to make sure you are reaching out to the right contacts
READ: Top 10 ways to sabotage business media coverage.
Before you click send, review the following in our 5-step media pitch PR checklist:
- Write the story you want told. What is your dream headline? Write it!
- Consume the news. Read the publications that you want to get press coverage in.
- Time your pitch with the news cycle.
- Make sure your pitch is targeted to the right editor.
- Proof your pitch in Grammarly and Microsoft Word.
Pro Tip: Want to increase the click-through rate on your PR pitches to the media? Editors are more likely to open email pitches with subject lines that mention the media outlet and topic because freelance writers work for so many different outlets. Make sure the subject of the email pitch is relevant to the query and create compelling titles.
In a recent podcast interview I was asked, “In your role owning a top New York PR agency, when you have three opportunities in front of you, how do you select a media opportunity and say, this gets my time and what is the delegation and prioritization process when reviewing media queries?”
Our media relations guide contains the criteria I use to determine what queries are relevant to reply to. You can snag a copy here.
Media Relations Guide: Journalists’ Tips on PR pitching best practices
Do free media query services really work?
Free media query services work but they only take you so far. If you don’t know the art of storytelling or how to pitch a journalist, it doesn’t matter if the media service is free or paid because you won’t be giving a reporter what they are looking for. So, do free media services really work? Yes. But the better question is, do you effectively know how to utilize free media query services? You can hand someone a free tool, or an expensive one. The cost does not matter if the person doesn’t know how to use the tool to their advantage.
Like most things in life, most people don’t have the time to learn every new tool or subject area. This is why you handle a PR firm to do this for you. PR agencies like ours use both free and paid media query services. What differentiates the free and paid services is not only the quality of the sources but the understanding of the professionals utilizing them. For example, if we are utilizing a paid media query service and pitching against our PR professionals, the competition will be steeper than if we are pitching against people who are pitching themselves without a PR firm on a free media query service.
How long should a media pitch be?
Despite popular opinion, a media pitch should not be too long. The content should be broken up with bullet points, bold text, italics and a few sentences. Most press releases and pitches are way too long and not something that reporters or journalists want to read.
How To Get A Reporter Interested In Your Business
The best way to pitch a journalist is to make sure you add substantial value to their reporting.
What can you offer them that another subject matter expert or source can’t?
- Do you have research you can share with them?
- Did you commission a study where a reporter may want to pick up the study findings?
DAILY PR TIPS (RECURRING):
- Read the news daily, stay up to date with current events
- Be active on Twitter and follow journalists
WEEKLY PR TIPS:
- Keep track of all pitches that are sent out in Smartsheet or Google Doc and follow up weekly
- Research writer’s previous articles and social media channels before pitching
- Send journals press material or content you have written pertaining to the story before the interview with ample time to review
What successful PR tactics have you used to pitch the media to secure press for your business, medical practice, or law firm? We would love to hear!
How do you pitch a social media post?
A social media post in and of itself is often not worthy of being pitched unless it is a newsworthy tweet. For example, a Facebook post is not newsworthy enough to be pitched to the media, unless it contains something controversial written by a public figure that may be of interest to the public. In that case, someone would take a screenshot of the post and share a link to the media. Usually, the people who are pitching this type of controversial content to the media are not business owners looking for publicity. Pitching the media to gain attention for your business or product is very different than tipping off the media about a controversial social media post a celebrity or political wrote.
BLOGGER OUTREACH PR TIPS
GETTING TOP BUSINESS BLOGGERS TO WRITE ABOUT YOU
How to Pitch Business Bloggers & get more media attention
How do you pitch a blog?
- How do I get my product reviewed by bloggers?
- How do you get bloggers to write about your startup?
- How can I get more backlinks for free?
- How to get bloggers to promote your product
- 20 ways to get more media coverage from bloggers
Is blogging part of PR?
Yes, business blogging should be part of an integrated PR and marketing strategy.
What is the SEO benefit of being featured by a blogger?
Some blogs include do-follow backlinks as part of the media coverage. Before pitching a blog, check to see the blogs link policy. If you want to be included on a blog, search for things like a list of bloggers, marketing influencers, and guest posts.
Blogger Media Relations 101
How to effectively Pitch Bloggers and journalists
Land your PR pitch at the top of a journalist’s inbox with these PR tips
StacyKnows: A Westchester County and Palm Beach blogger who connects cool people to cool things.
What’s wrong with this PR pitch? I asked pro blogger StacyKnows to review hundreds of old pitches from PR firms in her inbox. Here is what she had to say:
“As a blogger, I need PR firms- they supply content. But just because they supply content does not mean I will supply media coverage.”
“A good Publicist is reliable and dependable. When I ask for the product, they offer me high-resolution photos. They make my life easier” said Geisinger.
Know the difference between a pitch and a story
Everyone has a Valentine’s Day dinner special. What is so special about your Valentine’s Day dinner?
- There was a photo
- There was a recipe
- It was Valentine’s Day
- And I like biscotti
So I ran it.
Make sure it passes the “Is it blog-worthy?” test for the particular blogger you are pitching.
I am a publisher. Pitch me things that will actually get published.
For example, on Valentine’s Day, don’t just tell me to go buy vegan blueberry muffins. Adding a recipe with the pitch makes it current and valuable for my readers. “Buy my muffins!” does not.
Pitching a blogger 101
20 tips for getting bloggers to write about you
You only have the reader for 30 seconds at most. How are you capturing my attention?
Video pitches. People watch videos. It is a good source of content.
Include photos. Every blog post needs to have a photo. If you don’t give me a photo and you make me look for it then I may or may not get back to it until weeks later. Send high-resolution photos. Jpgs and Pngs are preferred.
Do not send me a PDF. I hate when people send me a PDF. PDFs make me cry. Don’t make me transfer your PDF to a word document that I have to post and edit. Make my life easier, not harder.
Lists. I love lists and Google does too. Use bullet points.
Graphics. Do not send me a spammy marketing or promotional graphic. I would rather have an infographic than a press release.
Captions. Provide captions for the images you are submitting. You can create an entire blog post with the right ingredients (photos and captions).
Social Sharing. Include the social media handles. Don’t make me dig for them. Also include what to tweet and what to post on Facebook. Make it easy for social sharing. I won’t tweet exactly what you give me, but a framework helps.
Write the story for me. Give me ideas to use, but let me write the story. Shower me with assets (photos) and copy that can be used for headers, alt text, and optimization.
Personal Introduction. Address the blogger by name and write a personal introduction. Form relationships. Show an interest in reading my blog.
Teach me something. A publicist once said, “This is how you do it.” Oh really? I really never knew that. People like to share when they learn something new. Think about the articles you share online. That is always a good reference point.
Relationships Matter. Even if a pitch isn’t amazing, if it is from someone I know, I will give it the benefit of the doubt. “That’s different my friend is pitching it.” If my friend is pitching me something I always look at it- a relationship will always get me to look. In PR, relationships matter (a lot). There is an order of priority I apply when reading emails. I always open emails from the people I know first.
Upgrade. Just because I have an old one, does not mean I don’t want or need a new one. For example, don’t be afraid to pitch me an updated model of a Peloton. I always want the new one.
Create win-win content opportunities. I want to run content that will create a buzz. How can you work with me to help me achieve that goal? Send bloggers content that publishers want to print. Think about their end goal, not only your own. Your goal is coverage; mine is eyeballs, traffic and new subscribers.
Stop spamming. PR firms have a list and send out the press release to the entire list. Stop doing that immediately. You have to target every reporter individually. Each story is only really relevant to specific bloggers. So even if my blog targets families in Westchester County, I may be interested in diet and fitness trends vs. another Westchester blogger who primarily covers kids events. Put in the time to know the difference.
Edit Jargon. Publicists need to stop using jargon. No one reads it, and it instantly gets deleted.
The True North Pitching test.
Understand what a blogger cares about.
“It’s the way she pitches that I like. Her pitches relate to real-life vs. this product is better than every other product out there.”
Learn what makes a blogger happy. I have a women’s interest blog. I obviously care about fitness tips and things that make me happy and enrich my life. Send me pitches with products that make me happy and enrich my life and I am more open to covering the product.
Helpful Tips. Her tips helped my readers achieve an intended goal and I thought they were interesting.
Timely Advice. Tie the pitch into a Holiday and I am more likely to use it.
Write the story for me (kind of). Give me ideas to use, but let me write the story. Shower me with assets (photos) and copy that can be used for headers, alt text, and optimization.
WMRBIIT: Will my readers be interested in it? Learn it. Memorize it. Post this on your wall. Ask yourself this question before you send any blogger a pitch. Why? Because it is the same question I ask myself when I reach every PR pitch I receive. If the answer is no, it is getting deleted. Just because my readers aren’t interested, doesn’t mean someone else’s won’t be. For example, If I am marketing to 55+ suburban women, do they really need sanitary products to come in a gift box every month? Is the story relevant to my website and audience? If not, why are you pitching me?
Lead with the benefits. What is the benefit for my readers in this PR pitch?
What’s in it for me? Is your pitch going to attract new readers to my blog? Think about the benefit for me vs. you and your client. If you only present a benefit for *you* and your client, I will delete the pitch. Who is benefitting from this? Is it just your client or is it my readers and myself? I want to write about things that are trendy and will attract new readers and subscribers. That is the ultimate goal and outcome I am looking for when I write new content.
Too often, Publicists pitch me things that do not take into consideration what my outcome is. Instead, they focus only on their client and what’s good for them. If it’s not a win-win, it is a lose-lose and it is going to the trash. Is there a benefit to my readers? What is the benefit for me to put this on my blog? If you can’t clearly articulate what the benefit is for my readers, don’t send it.
Product Review details. Are you offering me a product? Don’t tell me you would like me to review a product and then ask me to pay for the product or shipping.
Incentives. Even though it is well written, there is no photo and there is no incentive for me to run this. If you just want me to advertise for free for you, buy an ad. Why should I run free advertising for you? If you send me a pitch where you really just want free advertising. I’ll send you my media kit. Advertising is not PR. Why should I want to run their ad? This is an advertisement. If you want me to run your advertising for you, you need to pay for advertising or sponsored posts.
Know the difference between a pitch and a story. Craft the story arch for the blogger. There is a difference between crafting a story arch vs. telling a blogger the story to write. Editorial PR is when I truly endorse something. Send me the product and let me use it before you tell me what to write. Don’t try to influence what I write.
Add some pizzazz. “I look at this and I know it’s local but it’s dull I would really have to edit it. It’s boring. Delete.” If a pitch reads like a 1994 fax, it is boring. If you don’t even find it interesting, why would I? Just because your clients find it newsworthy, doesn’t mean anyone else does.
Don’t send me a post-event press release. The biggest way to insult a blogger or writer is to send them a post-event press release but never invite them to the actual event. Instead, invite me for dinner and to do a formal review. I prefer to receive an invitation to do a review because people value my opinion, not the Publicist’s opinion on what they are representing. If you only send me a post-event release, it is a slap in the face and shows me you don’t value my opinion enough to write my own review. I want to go to the event, not write about an event after it happens. Stop sending me post-event releases.
Is there a list of pre-packaged content? I love bullet points. Don’t make me put on my glasses to read a wall of text.
Giveaways attract new readers. Do you have a sample I can use as a giveaway?
Follow up on what you say you are going to do. If you do promise to promote me, don’t kill the relationship. I can tell the difference between a fake promo to appease me vs. relationship-building real publicity. If you offer to feature me in a video, then push it out and put as much force behind our PR efforts together as you do with your efforts asking me to run something for you. Bloggers need publicity too. Most publicists forget this and only focus on the publicity needs of their clients. If they stopped to think about how they could create win-win situations for bloggers to get publicity out of the coverage, they would be way more likely to get a response.
Don’t ask me basic questions. If you pitch someone, before you ask them again if they posted it, you might want to look at the publication or check Muckrack. If you ask me that question, it is obvious you never even read my blog.
What is blogger/ PR nirvana for you?
Help me help you.
To be invited to the hippest, hottest new spot. “We are going to feature you on x” will get attention as a blogger on national news. If you do something that gets a lot of attention, that is great. I like publicists who understand the mindset where it’s not only about their clients- it’s also about how they can help me with their contacts and brand myself as a blogger. If a Publicist can tap into the underlying motivation of the person they are pitching as well as the client, they create a win-win.
Every blogger needs publicity, too.
How do I pitch my product to bloggers?
Blogger StacyKnows compares dating to blogging:
“In the beginning, you are excited to start a new relationship, but not every relationship works out. Going on a first date it like getting the first pitch.”
I want to tell you about our product and about me. Hello snooze fest. That would be a boring date, wouldn’t it? The same is true when that is your first pitch to a blogger, says Geisinger.
“Sending me a product is like taking me out for dinner. When you ask me if I ran the story it’s like saying, ‘didn’t you get my text?” If you checked, you would see it is there.”
PUBLIC RELATIONS: TAKING IT TO THE NEXT LEVEL
How do you pitch a blogger?
We all know the 3-date dinner rule.
By the third pitch, you need to send me product or something to review beyond a boilerplate press release.
Is the first date only coffee and the second date is dinner?
Is the first date just a high res photo, the second date is a product, the third date you want to do more?
Who is paying the bill?
How many times are you going to pitch me before you become one of my sponsors?
That awkward moment
When are we going to take this offline from texting to meeting in person?
How can I get you to like me and not be bored with me?
All of these parallels between dating and pitching a blogger are an accurate portrayal of the pitching and relationship experience of the progression from initial pitch to PR placement.
Other things to keep in mind:
- Impressive background
- Attractive- good looking (person/ pitch)
- Successful Founder background
- Can carry a conversation
- Not creepy (doesn’t email me 50 times in a row)
- Chemistry (do I want to run this?)
- Date makes you feel good and pretty (pitch offers me something I need or want)
- The date is about you and not about them- paying attention to what they say and not what you say
- Not talking the whole time
- Understands and knows social cues
- Shows interest and does background research
Is this a quality pitch?
Do they have good high res photos that makes their product more attractive?
Have they received notoriety in their field?
What should I not do when pitching my product to a blogger?
Avoid the following PR mistakes:
- Do not ignore my email requests and promptly responds
- Do not stalk me on social media
- Understand what my blog is about
- Mention my name on your client’s publication and puts the article in the news section or runs the article on their client’s social media and tag me
- Have my readers needs in mind
- RT what I’ve written on Twitter and sponsor a giveaway or become an advertiser at some point or become a strategic partner
- Don’t ask me if I posted it when its already been posted from the day they sent it to me
- Knows what I write about and what my readers are interested in
- Look me up on all social media sites and conduct due diligence
PUBLIC RELATIONS SERVICES | MEDIA RELATIONS & PR FIRM IN NYC
Ruby Media Group Inc. is a full-service media relations and public relations agency located in New York. RMG strategically creates publicity plans to meet your unique PR goals while maximizing local, regional, and national media exposure. As an on-air television commentator and contributor for editorial outlets, RMG’s Founder Kris Ruby knows how to effectively pitch doctors, lawyers, executives, and medical experts to the media. Kris has built relationships with reporters, journalists, bookers, and producers for over a decade. The top NY PR firm receives media requests daily from producers and journalists looking to fulfill editorial needs, podcast booking needs, and TV booking requests. Want to be considered for these media interviews and publicity requests? Contact us today to learn more about our PR services!I want press!
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR | KRIS RUBY
KRIS RUBY is the CEO of Ruby Media Group, an award-winning public relations and media relations agency in Westchester County, New York. Kris Ruby has more than 15 years of experience in the Media and Broadcast Journalism industry. She is a sought-after media relations strategist, personal branding specialist, content creator, and crisis communications consultant. Kris Ruby is also a renowned commentator and political pundit and she has appeared on national TV programs over 200 times covering big tech bias, politics, and social media. She is a trusted media source and frequent on-air commentator on social media, tech trends, and crisis communications and frequently speaks on FOX News and other TV networks. She has been featured as a published author in OBSERVER, ADWEEK, and countless other industry publications. Her research on brand activism, the rise of antisemitism on social media and cancel culture is widely distributed and referenced.
She graduated from Boston University’s College of Communication with a major in public relations and is a founding member of The Young Entrepreneurs Council. She is also the host of The Kris Ruby Podcast Show, a show focusing on the politics of big tech and the social media industry. Kris is focused on PR for SEO and leveraging content marketing strategies to help clients get the most out of their media coverage.
Most recently, she wrote an article for ADWEEK titled “How to Survive a Brand Quarantine” and she also wrote a comprehensive guide on Cancel Culture: The Playbook for Defending Your Brand in a Polarized World. She frequently researches and studies brand activism and brand marketing.
*Date last updated January 2023
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KRIS RUBY is the CEO of Ruby Media Group, an award-winning public relations and media relations agency in Westchester County, New York. Kris Ruby has more than 15 years of experience in the Media industry. She is a sought-after media relations strategist, content creator and public relations consultant. Kris Ruby is also a national television commentator and political pundit and she has appeared on national TV programs over 200 times covering big tech bias, politics and social media. She is a trusted media source and frequent on-air commentator on social media, tech trends and crisis communications and frequently speaks on FOX News and other TV networks. She has been featured as a published author in OBSERVER, ADWEEK, and countless other industry publications. Her research on brand activism and cancel culture is widely distributed and referenced. She graduated from Boston University’s College of Communication with a major in public relations and is a founding member of The Young Entrepreneurs Council. She is also the host of The Kris Ruby Podcast Show, a show focusing on the politics of big tech and the social media industry. Kris is focused on PR for SEO and leveraging content marketing strategies to help clients get the most out of their media coverage.