You may be trying to DIY your own publicity and for that I applaud you.
Honestly, because you recognize the value media can bring. Now, while I always say sending an email pitch is the easiest part of the whole process, it can be a bit tricky trying to figure out what to say. I totally get it….so let me go through five major do’s and don’ts when talking to journalists, reporters, editors, producers and basically any decision makers in the media.
#1 Do define your message. What do you want to talk about? What do you want to be known for? What’s the ultimate goal for being featured or interviewed? These are all important questions to ask before you reach out to any media.
Don’t make it about you. Whatever you’re going to speak about must add value to their readers, viewers or listeners. Be sure to include how your talk will inspire, uplift, motivate, educate, inform or transform THEIR audience.
#2: Do a bit of research beforehand to find out which media is best suited for your message. Some ideas are best spoken therefore radio, podcasts or television may be the option of choice, whereas some messages are better written where you can not only explain your position but provide additional links for readers to get more information.
Don’t say yes to every single opportunity or choose media based on how easy it may be to get. Think about: Is this media’s audience made up of a wide cross section of the type of people you’d like to connect with? Does the particular media have anything to do with who you are or what your business is about? Your media of choice has to make sense for you and your business.
#3 Do find the name and contact information for the person you need to talk to in the media you choose. Search the internet, the media’s website or Twitter to find out who are the chief editors or reporters for your specific niche. You won’t want to pitch something about ‘beauty’ to the ‘tech’ editor.
Don’t stalk or harass media personnel online. Forming relationships is ok and commenting on their blogs or pieces is acceptable but please do so tactfully. You don’t want to show up everywhere they are demanding that they read your pitch that you sent via email.
#4 Do make your pitch timely. It’s a great idea to pitch something that’s timely, trending or newsworthy to help ensure it gets noticed. If it’s being already talked about and you have a unique perspective to share then feel free to pitch.
Don’t wait forever to pitch. If something is trending, then send your pitch immediately. Take some time as well to identify the times of the year or special dates you’d like to show up and send a proposal accordingly. With respect to print publications they need about three months advance notice, while television or podcasts may need a month or so. Be sure you send pitches well in advance so they can schedule you in.
#5 Do take your time and craft the perfect pitch based on the information above. It’s important the media understands why your message will resonate with their audience at this particular time and why you are the absolute best person to discuss it.
Don’t use ‘spray and pray’ tactics with your pitch as in copying and pasting to each and every single media. Craft a unique pitch for each publication or program.
BONUS: Do form long lasting relationships, particularly with the media personnel that say ‘yes’. You’ll need them in the future for additional press.
I’m quite literally working on something super special to help you pitch your ideas to the media more effectively. If you’re at all curious then be sure to let me know in comments below or send me a message and I’ll add you to the waiting list.