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.
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!