How to Pitch to the Who’s Who of Wilmington Media

So maybe you aren’t an advertising or public relations expert, but you do need to get your local business’s name and message out to the media. Pitching to the media isn’t as easy as submitting a release and expecting it to show up in publications. Despite being aimed at mass audiences, media outlets still have targeted content. It’s important to keep in mind a variety of factors when deciding which outlets you want to pitch to and how to execute those pitches.

The first and most important factor is understanding the audience. If you know your audience this will “help you choose the media that will deliver your sales message most effectively”.

In “How to Pitch 6 Things You Must Know” Jeff Haden explains that understanding the media’s readership and demographics ensure that your advertisement and business match. Outlets often provide a page that covers information such as the demographics and psychographics of their readers or subscribers – average age, most predominant gender, and what their interests are. Below is an example from Wilma Magazine’s website.

wilma web screenshot

Once you have decided on the outlet you want to make sure your pitch has the seven values of newsworthiness such as, timeliness, impact and proximity. You can read more about these here.

The hardest step in a pitch is actually finding the right person to pitch to. So below are some tips from Carrie Morgan and some suggested Wilmington area outlets to pitch to.

Local Broadcast: WECT 6 Wilmington, WWAY 3 ABC, CBS 10 Wilm, News 14 Carolina, The Cape Fear CW 3.2.

  • Start with emailing the news desk.
  • Look for an online staff directory.
  • Call and ask questions.
  • Pitch the producer for that specific show.
  • Watch the news.

Local Newspapers: Star News, Lumina News

  • Look for specific beat reporters.
  • Don’t pitch to the editor in chief.
  • Get familiar with the staff directory.
  • Read their job descriptions.

Local Magazines: Encore, Salt, Men, Ink., Wrightsville Beach Magazine, Wilmington Magazine, Focus on the Coast, The Greater Wilmington Business Journal, Wilma.

  • Always pitch to the editor.
  • Obtain a staff directory.
  • Don’t reach out to the publisher.
  • Identify regular columnists.

Local Radio: Coast 97.3, Z 107.5, Sunny 104.5, WWQQ 101.3, 94.5 Hawk, 93.7 & 106.3 The Dude

Noticing a theme? Be familiar with who the writers are and what they write about. Don’t auto generate your pitch; personalize according to readership, reporter, and relevance. Furthermore, make it easy for those you are pitching to. Don’t add extra fluff, make sure the who, what, when, where, and why of the pitch are all clearly identifiable.

Knowing how to pitch your business or brand is a valuable asset. Do you have any tips on pitching to the media? Share them with us in a comment below!

-Caroline Robinson, Elizabeth Harrington, Savannah Valade

Ready or Not, Here We Come!

Well, it wasn’t ready. The Affordable Care Act website, that is. Commonly known as Obamacare by critics, the program officially launched October 1, 2013 and attempts to allow each American the opportunity to have affordable health care. The program was signed into law in 2010, but only just now became part of daily American life. The website experienced technical errors last week, and again this past Tuesday. However, this was unrelated to the government shutdown. Instead, the system experienced a major overload due to mass traffic to the site, claimed those who run it. An estimated 8 million visitors forced the site to send a response of “Please Wait and Be Patient,” CNBC reports. Run by the Department of Health and Human Services, the process to acquire a health care quote is actually quite simple. I myself did it and, just shy of giving my contact information, I was inches from an affordable quote in less than two minutes.

Page that loads with technical issues, courtesy of MSNBC

Page that loads with technical issues, courtesy of MSNBC

Fox News said that the 93 million dollar website was the victim of poor Java Script coding, to the point where, simply put, the site freezes up. It doesn’t know where to go or in which direction to proceed. Yet MSNBC follows the path of the HHS, saying it was simply a matter of visitor overload to the site. MSNBC did not report, as of posting, that there were Java Script coding issues.

So. Which to believe? It is common knowledge that news stations lean differently towards their side, whether it be right or left. Even CNN, a major world news outlet, leans toward one side. This post is neither liberal nor conservative, and it neither promotes nor discourages the Affordable Care Act. However, it does encourage that American citizens not rely solely on one news outlet for information. Rather, gather your news from a multitude of sources. Otherwise a viewer faces the possibility of being a victim of “Spiral of Silence.” The Spiral of Silence is an instance where an individual, with one opinion differing from that of the majority, is unable to voice said opinion for fear of judgment. For instance, if I believe Theory X, but my neighborhood only watches one news channel that reports solely on Theory Y, the neighborhood will only be educated on Theory Y. If the entirety of the neighborhood, apart from myself, believes in Theory Y, I would be uncomfortable in expressing my opinions and differences. I am lost in the Spiral of Silence. If you support a cause that one news station does not, you are only educated on their belief. In the land of the free, is our free speech being suppressed by the media?

-Hilary Hall

Ron Paul, Who?

Over the past eight years, the media coverage regarding Ron Paul has been very lackluster to say the least. Although most of the coverage he has received has been positive, the overall amount is significantly lower than the other candidates running. The messages he supports are often considered the most accurate and truthful by any candidate and many believe him to be the most qualified for the political office. However, the media seems to have its own agenda, and seem to have a different idea on who should be the frontrunner.

Although there are four candidates, CNN seems to believe that only three are relevant. Missing from this photo is Ron Paul, sitting just left of candidate Santorum.

Both CNN and Fox News are partially to blame for this so-called “media blackout”, and have not been giving fair coverage to Congressman Paul. When it comes to debates or discussion, Ron Paul seems to mysteriously disappear from the subject and is often overlooked. In a recent interview with Fox News, he states that he has observed that the amount of coverage on himself post-debate has a ratio of about 90:1 in favor of his opponents. This shows a tendency that the media does not believe that Ron Paul has the ability to win the candidacy and therefore neglects to give him adequate coverage.

Although the media coverage on Ron Paul is largely absent from television and news broadcasting channels, he receives overwhelming support on major social media networks. Seeing as the majority of his supporters are those of a younger generation, Twitter plays a large part of his support and communication between his fans. During a recent poll, the Washington Post found that from July of 2011 to January of 2012 that the amount of mentions on Twitter significantly increased from about 30,000 to almost 260,000. Compared to Newt Gingrich who had 294,000 mentions, Ron Paul still comes in second. Luckily, thanks to his many loyal supporters there is still a good chance for him to succeed despite the media’s lack of belief.

Leslie Tyler, Leanna Marshall, Bryce Koonts, Julius Roberts

Osama=0, Facebook & Twitter=2

Last night social media networks exploded with the news of Osama Bin Laden’s death. If you have a social media account, there was no way you did not hear the news before President Obama’s speech. Most people, especially members of the millennial generation, spread the news around the world like wildfire. On Facebook, statuses were updated every second with celebratory posts of the death of the most hated person since Adolf Hitler. Twitter set a new record on traffic, with an average of 4,000 tweets per second from the beginning to the end of President Obama’s speech.

How does this relate to IMC? IMC incorporates social media, which helps create social capital. It is evident that last nights social media event fostered a community around the country and globe of American nationalism, helping to reunite the country once again as the United States of America. In all of our debates over whether social media inhibits social capital, it is now quite clear that social media is a driving force in creating social capital, and on a large scale.

Here’s to you IMC, for helping create a community one status and tweet at a time.

-Allison Day, Jessica Berinson, Megan Canny, Melissa Gagliardi, & Scott Burgess