Is there such a thing? Of course not, no one’s perfect, but a pitch to a journalist must be very close to gain their attention. What, then, makes up a near perfect pitch? Lately, as a PR student getting my feet wet in this fickle field I’ve been wondering just that. Today, at a PR committee meeting of one of PRowl’s new clients, pitching was discussed quite a bit. As I sat listening to the ideas of the seasoned PR professionals in the room I realized how vital a perfectly tailored pitch is.
I’ve learned today that the key to tailoring a pitch is to know exactly who it is that you’re pitching and exactly the type of content that they write. Becoming a news junky is vital, especially in the region where you’re working. You must be able to identify the journalists who work at news outlets relevant to your clients message. For example, if your client’s target audience consists of corporate professionals then you must have a contact at the local business journal.
Knowing the names and interests of so many journalists may seem to be a daunting task, but luckily there is a quicker way to figure out what stories they are buzzing about. HARO, or Help A Reporter Out, is a website dedicated to matching journalists with the sources that they need to develop their story. A journalist can post an inquiry for more information about the story that they’re working on and a PR person can pitch them in response. If that pitch is uniquely tailored to the journalists story it has much more of a chance to be used. Websites like HARO make effective pitching much easier. Happy pitching!