Introduce Yourself… Without a Pitch
Do you have a friendly acquaintance or professional peer who you only hear from when they need something? Maybe this person was once a friend, but they’ve made a hard pivot to try and sell you on their services, or worse yet, ask you for free advice. ($100 says you can see this person in your mind.)
It’s frustrating, right? As soon as you see that person’s name pop up on your phone screen or in your inbox, you likely cringe and think: “What do you want now?”
Here’s the hard truth: Pitching media members is very much the same.
If you’re only in a media member’s inbox when you are asking for something, there’s a good chance they’ll feel similarly when receiving your outreach. From our perspective, it’s important to build real connections, rather than just treating the people receiving your announcements and pitches as your own personal order-takers.
Even the most well-intentioned outreach can come across poorly — or at the least, go overlooked — without the right approach. Today, we’re sharing a few tips about how to make your outreach useful and effective:
- Introduce yourself — without a pitch. This is such a simple and important concept. If you read a piece of content by a writer or content creator who may be interested in your business or organization, don’t start out by telling them how amazing you are. Tell them who you are (and how you can help the reporter)! Can you imagine showing up to a networking event and immediately jumping into a sales pitch? That’s essentially what journalists are presented with via pitch emails every single day. If you take a second to quickly say hi, who you are, and why you’re interested in their work, you’re far more likely to earn attention when the time comes to make an ask.
- Get to the point. Media members receive literally hundreds of emails per week (some get this many every day). They’re also trying to do a time-sensitive and labor-intensive job. Start off your outreach the way you would a news story: by sharing the point. I’m wordy by nature, so for me, this often means writing an entire email and then pulling out a summary to stick at the very beginning (and often cutting out a huge chunk of unnecessary content).
- Share feedback. Especially if you want to connect with writers and journalists outside of your local media market, you’ll want to find ways to engage with them online. Follow your favorite content creators on Twitter or connect with them on LinkedIn. Share stories you find that they may be interested in. Compliment work they’ve created that resonates with you. Essentially, show them that you’re an engaged member of their readership and a careful follower of their beat. Staying top of mind and showing that you are knowledgeable about the topic you’d want to earn coverage for can go a long way.
If you were to remember just one thing from this article, I hope it’s this: The Golden Rule holds true always. When you approach members of the media, take a moment to consider the challenges they’re facing and how you’d want to be approached in a similar situation.
If you are looking for a PR partner who can help your business stay top of mind for potential coverage, please don’t hesitate to reach out.