I've been reading so many articles about how the 'media pitch is dead' or that old school PR tactics don't cut it anymore. Don't believe the hype!
While it is true that PR has had to shore up its approach to gaining eyes and ears in the last five years - shifting, refurbishing and revising its approach to media relations - There is still much skill and creativity to be applied in grabbing the attention of your desired media target. (after all, isn't it the chase we all love?)
I've heard of PR companies axing their suite of media relations services to focus solely on social strategy - I've also seen companies chose to hyper-focus on a single aspect of PR in order to gain expert positioning among competitors. I am happy to say that as PR pros, we have even MORE outreach options than before, but we don't have to ditch the media pitch!
While social media has all but banished the 'desk side' reporter lunch, (#oldschoolPR) there are still a myriad of options to get onto people's radar with the right pitch.
My advice to hitting a home run when pitching:
1. Mind your influencers: While trying to get to that one dreamy reporter/editor who will fulfill your editorial needs, look around at their team - their cohorts and assistants. They too, are worth getting on your radar and may have influence over editorial direction.
2. Gatekeepers: At times, when a phone call is warranted, there is just no reaching the person you want to speak with. Instead of hanging up the phone with frustration or rushing to voice mail - giving some context to the person taking the message could have a positive spin on how your message gets delivered, and perhaps bump you up in terms of priority.
3. Know your triggers: Each reporter/editor has their own "trigger" vocabulary that may have a greater impact in getting their attention. This could be a reference to an editorial series they are currently working on, or a spin on the 'beat' that they normally cover, or a timely 'topic' that is popping up in their industry of focus. Just be careful not to play too much into jargon or over-use of 'buzz words' - which could push you over into the camp of 'generic' or 'trying too hard'.
So get started and be creative – the chase is half the fun!