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Social Media PR: Pitching Is Like Choosing A Wedding Gown

PR person worth his or her salt should be able to craft a credible, cogent and convenient pitch

 I remember the first time I went to look for wedding gowns. As an excited, newly engaged young woman, I wanted to find the perfect dress – to suit the occasion, my personality … and yes, even my figure! Walking into the bridal store I realized the daunting task I had in front of me. But with some research, patience, and willingness of some kind store owners, I found the right dress for me.

I think that pitching to the media is a bit like choosing a wedding dress: the possibilities to pitch to seem endless at first, but with careful research and a little guidance from both your client or organization AND the journalists you’re pitching, any PR person worth his or her salt should be able to craft a credible, cogent and convenient pitch that will help in developing both good relationships with writers and editors as well as great stories placed on behalf of clients.

The first key to a great pitch is research. Would any bride in her right mind just walk into any bridal salon and expect to find a dress off the rack with ease and success? No way! First she works her way carefully through recent bridal magazines, dog-earing the pages with dresses and designers she likes. Then she might check out designers she likes online and see what salons carry that designer and style. Finally, she goes to salons, having made an appointment first, to try on dresses to find the one of her dreams.

It’s much the same with a pitch. You might first start by searching your pitch topic through a news search engine online. Who’s covered it recently? Who’s covered ancillary spaces? Where has your customer and their main competitors been profiled before? All are important initial considerations when planning a new pitch to gain customers coverage.

After targeting some key publications to pitch your customers’ news to, it’s also important to find the right contact within the publication you’re targeting. Who at the publication covers the beat that your customers’ news falls within? Have they covered the topic recently, and if so, from what angle? What new facet of the topic can your customers’ subject matter experts speak to, and how might they further a “conversation” started by a particular journalist? It’s critical to consider all of these components, and factor them into a concise, compelling pitch. By showing the journalist that you’ve done your homework, you show respect not only for the writers, publications, and for the journalism industry in general, but you also show respect and integrity that reflects well upon all those in our industry.

And you might also get some great ink to add to your portfolio … and impress your clients with.

Read the original blog entry...

More Stories By Karyn Price

Karyn joined the Bailiwick Company ten years ago, and spends the majority of her time managing media relations and corporate, employee and marketing communications for her telecommunications and technology clients. She currently leads the company's public relations practice. With an eye toward results, she works diligently to secure meaningful coverage for clients in relevant print and online publications, as well as in key financial and analyst reports. Her new-found passion for social media has ignited additional interest for the clients she serves. Prior to joining Bailiwick, Karyn was the communications manager for the Bucks County Conference & Visitors Bureau, where she publicized the beauty, art and culture that the region offers to leisure travelers. Under her direction, the county saw a 43 percent increase in travel leads. She has also spent time in advertising. Karyn holds an M.A. in Professional Communication from La Salle University and a B.A. in Communication from Elizabethtown College. Outside of the office she enjoys music, spending time with family and reading great novels. Please note that the views expressed on this site are mine and do not necessarily reflect the views of the clients I represent.

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