What do you do when you’re keen to get out a pitch to a Journalist but you’ve got now idea of how to pint hem down?
So, you’ve got a great pitch. It’s hand crafted, beautifully put together. In fact, you’ve spent days on it. Well, several hours at least. You have even found yourself reciting sentences from it in the shower. Now for launch time. You know who you want to pitch it to. But how?
Journalists can be like the Yeti. I know, I used to be one and boy, was I difficult to get hold of! I would often spend much of my time groaning at the weight of my inbox (and this was in the days before smart inboxes!) I phone would be on silent. Something had to give.
These days, we don’t use carrier pigeon so much and as much as the internet has made the journalist life easier, it hasn’t come without its disadvantages. There are too many avenues in which people can get hold of them, often meaning that most pitches get overlooked.
The art of standing out
There are many ways to get noticed, legally. But by a journalist, it’s a different matter. Yet there are a few tricks to make your favourite reporter notice you, every time, even if your pitch might not be your best, he or she will still have a scan through. It’s called relationship building and the best place to do it is Twitter.
Why Twitter? Lots of reasons – for a start its where the news happens. For many years PR pros like me launch themselves at the platform as soon as a big news story breaks. Back in the day, it was the place were ‘on the ground’ coverage happened. Those at the front who got their phones out posted their clips of live footage on Twitter. The press and media followed many launcing their breaking news items on twitter knowing that there world was there, watching.
On the flip side, Twitter is the place to get your brand out there. Your voice, and as a journalist, this is priceless. It’s quick and effective. With a clever hashtag and timing (the latter is becoming increasingly important) you can have the audience of your dreams, your audience flock to your publication, meaning you have a happy editor. Everyone’s a winner.
Twitter journalist romances are a dance. A careful two step or tango. There are moves you have to commit yourself to, but don it right, and you have a hot shuffle that’s not only stylish but
So, here you go – your very own choreography.
Look, don’t pitch blindly to any old journalist. For a start, you need to respect they time and their hectic workday. Follow them, comment on their posts, see what they are passionate about FIRST before you pitch to them.
Leave the big buddies alone for a while – although it might a big ego boost to have the editor of the Sunday Times hanging off your every word in your Twitter dreams, it might not happen. Start off walking the walk of local press – I check out the youngsters, they are usually the ones who are the hardest working, hungry for ambition and dedicated to the hilt. They will be wanting to please their editors and they can be the most opinionated too.
Watch how they report and talk and pick out your contacts from these up-and-coming reporters carefully. There is an old saying about being good to people on your way up because you don’t know who you’re going to meet om the way back down. It works the other way around too. You will get to recognise who is a Sunday Times editor in the making. This is when you want to build a relationship with them. Pick out some clever movers from these guys and follow some of the country senior reporters too but watch their niche.
Stay tuned for the next installment of our IMPress for Success Twitter season!