To continue our Pitch-uation series, we’re going to discuss how pitching involves making a great impression. A first impression in some cases, and a media impression that results in coverage to a broader audience.
What is a “pitch” anyway? There’s the kind you throw, the musical kind and one that involves a fit (as in to pitch one…a fit, that is). The sales pitch – describedas: “a persuasive sales talk, esp one routinely repeated” and then the kind we want to discuss…the PR pitch.
Long story short, the PR pitch involves telling the media a quick snippet about your client’s product/service and letting them know why (swiftly, please) they and their audience should care. End goal – your client’s time to shine and let a larger audience know about his or her product and/or service.
How is life all about pitching? Well, it’s not, however, in life one does find her/his self in multiple scenarios attempting to cast the best light on her/him, an endeavor, organization, etc. For example, attempting to get hired at a job interview, impressing your husband with a new dinner recipe, doing a great job at school and making the honor roll, trying to obtain a sponsor for an event, and the list goes on.
Pitching to the media may not be as serious as discovering your life’s calling or perfecting your craft, but working on a compelling message and actively updating your information is what will keep you and your business relevant.
Plus, you want to learn how to pitch without pitching. Now it’s clear as mud, right? Ever walk away impressed with someone? It’s typically subtle, not so obvious and the impressive person doesn’t beat you over the head with their…”impressiveness.” Now imagine someone who is obviously trying to impress you? Different emotions, right?
We can write more about the above later, but for now, here are a few key points and questions you’ll want to ask yourself on your way to pitch stardom and shining…
Research and reality check. When you highlight the key features, bells and whistles of your product, is it all you are claiming it to be or does it need work? How does it compare to a competitor’s product? Pull out the elements that make what you are pitching stand out. Look through your wish list of publications and see if your idea has already been featured? If so, why would the writer/reporter want to write about it again? What different angle can you provide? What does the media outlet you are pitching to cover? Does this seem like something this specific writer/reporter would be interested in? If so, you want craft appropriate language that speaks to that writer.
Determine your goal. What is the goal of your pitch? Aside from landing the media coverage, what is the bigger picture? Are you using the coverage to highlight a new product that you’d like boutiques to carry? Include in a press kit? Promote an established retailer? Once you identify how you would like to use the press, it may assist you in coming up with different pitch angles.
Don’t edit your ideas or pitches. When you are in the blue-skying phase, don’t edit your ideas or possible story angles. Imagine how people will use your product, where and why, and jot down those things that come to mind. If you think about informing or motivating people with your products (or services), you might come up with unique story angles and a media outlet willing to pick up the story.
Pay attention to your tone. Communication is critical in relationship-building and when writing your pitch. You want to tailor your pitch accordingly. Don’t get too chummy too quickly with the media. That’s just weird to dive into “hey girlfriend” with a complete stranger. Sometimes the way people behave on their social media channels, is different than the way they interact at work…duh, they’re at work! Err on the side of professionalism and then get comfy with showing some personality once you’ve determined who you are interacting with and how they prefer to communicate.
Putting your and your client’s best foot forward is what it’s all about and if things go as planned, sparkly, shiny media hit!
What ways do you find life is like a pitch? Any pitch tips to add?