Securing media coverage from tier 1 outlets is a bit like learning how to surf. It requires hard work and practice to be able to get your footing just right. However, once you feel comfortable with the process, you’re able to ride a wave of success that leads to greater awareness, a return on investment and potentially new prospects and customers.
Wondering how to write a pitch that increases your chance of securing Tier 1 media coverage? This blog offers a closer look at the key elements that take your media relations skills to the next level and help your brand expand its reach beyond trade publications and local news outlets.
It’s true that not every pitch will land in the hands of a journalist or producer who is keen to take your story to the masses. However, you can take your pitch and story to new heights – and capture attention from reputable reporters – by adhering to the following best practices:
Before you pitch an editor or reporter, it’s important to make sure they are the right contact for your news to increase your chances of success. Peruse their previous stories, interests and assigned beats to see what they typically cover. Make it known that you’ve read their work and you’re more likely to get serious consideration or even a response in return. If they have recently covered a similar topic to what you’re pitching, be sure to highlight why your pitch deserves their attention by comparing it to and differentiating it from previous pieces they’ve produced. If they don’t appear to be a relevant contact, start your search again.
For widely recognized brands such as Apple or Google, a corporate update or product launch will often be attention-grabbing enough to warrant media coverage. However, if your brand is lesser known, you’ll want to approach tier 1 pitching with a bit more creativity to increase your success rate. Be sure to clarify how your news makes a broader impact or ties into a current trend to demonstrate relevance and timeliness.
For example, does your product or service enable new capabilities that were previously impossible or difficult, and what does this mean for the future of the industry? Do your research findings highlight an important shift in behaviors and attitudes or fit in with an ongoing one? Lead with compelling and reliable statistics and facts that will make reporters interested in learning more about your story idea.
While your pitch will position your story idea in a particular way, reporters may need more clarification to pull together an article or broadcast segment. Suggesting an interview with an expert, especially someone with a credible title, interesting background or unique viewpoint, can make the pitch more compelling and help reporters produce a thorough and engaging story. Finding good sources is not always easy, and reporters may appreciate you providing them with a credible expert – making them more likely to respond to your future pitches. In addition to offering up the name of the expert, their title and the organization with which they are affiliated, include a quick synopsis of their credentials.
While your pitch should contain all the necessary pieces of information, it’s best to also be succinct. Reporters typically have overflowing inboxes and prefer concise pitches that quickly deliver the main purpose along with intrigue. If your pitch is too long, you run the risk of a journalist overlooking it in favor of a clearer, shorter pitch. Stick to the who, what, why and perhaps the how in a few sentences – there will be time to provide additional details if the reporter responds and wants to learn more. If they don’t respond, consider how best to follow up on your initial pitch to increase your chances of securing media coverage.
When you have an announcement that meets the above considerations, you have the potential to secure coverage with top news outlets. Achieving a feature in the likes of Forbes, Newsweek, “Good Morning America”, ESPN, NPR or the Huffington Post can result in millions of impressions and a significant return on investment for your public relations program. Additionally, a story with a credible print, online, television or radio outlet can lead to even more coverage about your brand as other tier 1, local news and even trade outlets pick up the story. While it can be a challenge to win tier 1 coverage, the payoff is in many ways priceless.
The best media pitches are a combination of strategic, creative and succinct. Are you looking to secure consistent and quality media coverage for your brand? Contact Mulberry to learn how we can promote your corporate milestones, product and service launches and more.
Jess Messenger is an Account Director at Mulberry Marketing Communications, an award-winning full-service B2B communications agency based in Chicago, London and Australia. She enjoys developing PR campaign strategies and writing for B2B audiences across numerous verticals such as retail, foodservice and healthcare.