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#PR: 3 Unbeatable Pitch Tips
By: Gerard E. Mayers
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In this day and age of the #hashtag on Twitter and now also on Facebook, the digital revolution transforming older PR practices, there is some comfort to know many traditional PR tools are still valid.
Next week I am going to blog about suggestions contained in a wonderful, free eBook sponsored by PR Newswire, but today I want to comment on a colleague’s article on three pitching tips that never will go out of style.
Lucia Davis, community editor for PR News, authored a piece recently in PR News for Smart Communicators about three time-honored tips to make all our pitching campaigns home runs. She said, “You may think your brilliant product or service, on the face of it, has enough of a news hook for journalists, but your media relations success or failure often rests on your own storytelling abilities," says Lisa Zlotnick senior VP at Lippe Taylor. Davis then noted, “Zlotnick shared with us her top three rules for pitching stories to the media — and at the very top of her list is to tell a compelling story.”
Why tell a story? Zlotnick commented: “Whether you are pitching a product, event, travel destination or beverage — no matter what it is you are pitching — it’s always important to tell the media a story. The more you think like a journalist, the better your pitch will be and the more placements you will generate for your clients or for your organization. Simply sending out a press release and expecting the media to put together a story on its own will not be productive. It’s important to be creative with your writing and take the time to explore angles and ideas.”
Two other tips are equally important and timeless. They are: 1. Offer an expert; 2. Timing is key.
Offer an expert: “Make sure to always have a stable of experts at the ready who are familiar with your brand to offer for media interviews,” Zlotnick says. When you offer up an expert about your brand (it can be someone from the production team, someone in the industry who happens to be a fan of your brand, or even someone in the industry with a strong social media presence in the same field), media now have someone other than a paid spokesperson for your brand.
Timing is key: "When" you pitch your story to your media contacts does matter. Find out from your media contacts the best times to approach them and keep “a running diary” of that information always handy. Also, Zlotnick says, “know the deadlines of the media you are pitching. If you are trying to contact a producer from a television show and you call them just as their newscast is beginning, that’s not good. If there is major national news breaking and you send out your pitch on an irrelevant topic because you were told to do so, use common sense and remember what the media goes through in a breaking story situation.”

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About the Author
Gerard E. "Gerry" Mayers writes about PR and other relevant topics for PR professionals. A former PR manager for Sensor Products, Inc. (currently based in Madison, NJ), he lives in Milford, NJ.
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