Do you have an incredible product or service you want to get noticed, but you’re still building up the budget for professional PR & marketing services? Focus your time and energy on harnessing your brand’s story and getting it out there to start earning the recognition you deserve! Once you have a few key brand elements and assets together, do some research on members of the media that align well with your message and pitch it mama!
Keep these top tips in mind when reaching out to media and you’ll be on the path towards securing the coverage you’ve been seeking.
Do your research and find out exactly who to reach out to and how they prefer to be contacted. Understanding the member of the media’s beat, outlet’s editorial calendar and overall working style is of the utmost importance. Always remember that this is a real person you’re pitching. With social media it is easy to see what interests them both personally and professionally. While it’s great to use social media as a tool and a way to keep in touch, most members of the media prefer receiving formal pitches via email as opposed to DM or text.
Always keep in mind how many emails, calls, texts and DMs everyone receives on a daily basis — not to mention if you’re a member of the media. It’s exhausting and often uninspiring and the sad truth is that most pitches just get lost in the shuffle. The amount of start up businesses, blogs, apps and services launching is astounding so always think about what sets your pitch apart. Make the subject line, the text and assets attention grabbing (while remaining professional). Think about what kind of emails you like to read and respond to!
Emphasize the importance of your timing whenever possible for a more rapid response from media. Why is this particular piece of information important now? How does it align with what’s currently going on in the news and what is coming up (whether that be a holiday, specific season, launch etc.) Understanding lead times is crucial when reaching out to media, both short and long lead so that you’re delivering the information when they need it, slightly ahead of time if possible. Media are always looking for great story ideas to fill up their content calendar so make yourself useful to them! Being useful is also your best way at building a long term relationship with an editor.
Further to the excessive amount of noise in the media are often unclear brand missions with missing information. You only have one chance to get your point across clearly — make it enticing yet informative. Be sure that all of the information is outlined and accurate. Organize all of your content and relevant brand assets for them before they even have to ask! How are you solving a need in the market? What makes you stand out from the competition? If you’re a new brand – emphasize all that you have created, not what you’re missing or still working on. End it with a clear call to action! And remember, brevity is your friend. All editors appreciate concise pitches.
Even if this member of the media passed on your pitch or filed it away for another time, be sure to say thank you for their time or consideration and any feedback they took the time to provide. If they do indeed coordinate with you on coverage and include you in a piece of editorial, send a thank you email as soon as the piece comes out! Reposting on social media is much appreciated as well. Gestures such as handwritten notes and flowers go a long way to show your true appreciation. If it feels appropriate, offer to take them out to say thank you and keep up the relationship in person to make it feel more meaningful.
Liz Anthony & Suki Mulberg Altamirano are HEYMAMA members based in NYC and the co-founders of PressReady. Created with a combination of more than two decades of PR experience in the fashion, beauty, health and lifestyle arenas, PressReady is aimed to help small business across industries get noticed with easy-to-use, affordable digital expert industry guidelines, workbooks, planning tools and customizable templates.