Pitch Stories, Not Ideas
By Bob Geller, SVP
There are more places than ever to launch your own content. But until you or your clients are A list bloggers, or you have your own MSM soapbox, your success will still to a large part depend on your ability to get others to write about your product, service or cause.
Whether you are pitching a blog or a traditional media outlet, it is important to be intensely aware of what makes a good story on the forum of choice. What are the topics and tone of their preferred stories? Do they have any special sourcing requirements? Favor small companies or powerhouses? Focus on tech, consumer, B2B, etc.? Run news, features, reviews, commentary, analysis?
PR is all about creativity and ideas. And it is great to brainstorm all the nifty angles that can tie in with a product or service. But remember, at the end of the day our media customers are looking for stories, not just clever ideas. The top tier outlets have no interest in cute ideas that are thinly veiled product pitches.
So, when you are working on your pitches, go beyond all the interesting things that can tie in with your product or service. Think about what the outlets of interest look for in stories. Go beyond pitching ideas and angles to pitching stories.
This means, for example moving beyond a product-centric pitch to making sure you have users lined up and ready to deliver interesting anecdotes and talk not just about technology but about details of interesting applications of technology. It means having other third party sources, e.g. analysts, who can add color or validate your story.
Having not just the idea, but all the elements needed to support your story lined up in advanced – and going in with a high degree of confidence that such a story meets the needs of the publication or reporter / blogger of choice – will improve the chances that coverage happens, and that the resulting story is in line with you (and your client’s or employer’s) expectations.
You can read more about this topic on Flack’s Revenge.