Brand managers can improve their PR pitching with a variety of tools and a few changes in approach.
A good media relations campaign involves reaching out to those inundated with pitches in their inboxes, making it essential for your campaign to stand out and be easily digestible.
Productive media relations can open an untapped market that can expand a brand manager’s campaign pitching, even one that has been stymied by overly conventional or ineffective PR outreach. The perfect media pitch emphasizes a personalized approach to engaging a media contact.
Fortunately, there are simple ways to make your PR pitches more productive and captivating.
1. Personalize the approach.
Lack of personalization can mean the difference between a captivated lead and a recipient who feels she’s just part of a mass mailing list. Addressing them by name is a start, though that doesn’t go far enough or make a brand stand out in a crowded inbox.
Instead, dig deeper. Follow the writer on social media. Carefully read his published works. This research provides a great barometer of whether the content is in their wheelhouse. Media outreach often fails due to a lack of interest in the topic.
Additionally, the knowledge gained from further research accommodates demonstration of familiarity with the pitch.
Starting off by complimenting the recipient on a recent article he published, while tying that topic to the pitch, is an effective way to stand out.
2. Monitor related trends.
Prudent media pitching includes staying up to date on industry trends. Try setting up Google Alerts for relevant keywords, ensuring more accurate and relevant pitches.
Additionally, the alerts will expose new articles that can identify new influencers for your campaign’s contact list. Inbox alerts can also bring a new publication to light, with the potential to add dozens of its writers.
Overall, media monitoring is the best way to stay on the pulse of emerging news regarding related keywords, while being a convenient method for adding contacts.
3. Use software.
Certain PR software can provide valuable insight into your target audience, topical trends and overall engagement.
It may also be beneficial to use an automated phone system. Tools like PhoneBurner can make your pitching more productive and simplified by streamlining workflows, making follow-ups more efficient and storing lead information in the cloud.
4. Write a captivating subject line.
This is essential, especially when reaching out to contacts who receive hundreds of pitches each week. Aim for something short that piques curiosity; don’t try to cram everything into it.
Personalization is great here, too; even a mention of the writer’s publication can make a difference. Fifty-seven percent of journalists receive from 50 to 500 pitches per week, so use a captivating subject line to grab their attention.
Because there’s no precise science to what makes a captivating subject line, PR professionals may very well have to conduct A/B testing, monitoring engagement of multiple subject lines to gauge which is most effective. Alternating subject lines between each round of follow-up can aid in this testing, as well.