Public Relations

Turning Your Media Pitch into a Media Hit

written by Todd Brabender http://www.spreadthenewspr.com

3 Comments

Anyone who has ever read a book on sales or taken a sales course has heard it: on average it takes anywhere from 3 to 10 contacts before a sale is reached. Although sales and publicity are very different animals, the same rule of thumb applies when pitching your release or story idea to the media. Because of the Internet and email, media outlets today are bombarded with hundreds, if not thousands, of media pitches each week. So, it’s more important than ever to make sure your release gets noticed. This doesn’t mean pitching to more media outlets; it means your publicist or PR staff should take the time to pitch to your specific media market multiple times.

Whether you pitched the release yourself or hired someone to do it for you, you need to know whether the release made contact. Sure it arrived, but is that the release that editor needs that day, for that article or for that issue? Hopefully so, but many times that is not the case; the release is either saved for future use (again, hopefully), or more than likely it is set aside, trashed or deleted. The releases and pitches that get used are the ones that are newsworthy, media-friendly and that arrive at opportune times. As you might imagine, a perfect combination of all three translates into your best chances of media coverage and publicity.

When you use a release distribution service, your release gets pitched ONCE. However, the most successful campaigns are those that are strategically and effectively maintained and/or re-pitched with calculated frequency. Most media outlets either don’t or can’t respond to your initial release or pitch. Based on my professional experience as a PR/Publicity specialist, I would estimate that media placements occur in the following manner:

  • 25% occur after the 1st – 2nd pitch
  • 50% occur after the 3rd – 5th pitch
  • 25% occur after the 6th – 8th pitch

Sometimes (in fact most times) a strong placement happens when a release hits an editor at the right place at the right time. Sure you may have pitched that media contact three times over the last few weeks, but perhaps that reporter/editor/producer didn’t have the time or the editorial space to work your release into a placement. Your opportunity for placements increases with meticulous media follow-ups and re-pitches. What many business owners/entrepreneurs don’t realize is that the majority of media outlets fail to respond until after the third or fourth pitch. I continue to be amazed and amused at the editor or producer who, upon receiving a pitch for the fourth time, says, “I’m so glad you reminded me of this release!” or “Great timing! This will fit perfectly in a feature we’re doing this week!” If the release had been pitched just once, and not followed up on, those placements would not have taken place.

So make sure your PR staff isn’t afraid to wind up and pitch your campaign multiple times. Just like in baseball, the more pitches there are — the better chances you get to make a hit.  

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Todd Brabender

about the author

Todd Brabender

Todd Brabender is the President of Spread the News Public Relations, Inc. His business specializes in generating media exposure and publicity for innovative products & services. Follow on Google+

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3 Comments

Nagarjuna Varikoti November 26, 2009 at 3:42 am

all your articles are insightful! simple and to the point.

Lynnel Townsend March 29, 2010 at 3:02 am

Hello Tod Brabender, My name is Lynnel Townsend. I am CEO of a non proft organization that was created in 2004 called: LIFES. LIFES was created to target low income and homeless families in government subsidized apartments to give them the tools, resources and skills to: find jobs, further their education, and make a success of their lives by obtaining a GED and a college degree online right withing these apartments! My purpose for writing you is to see if you could offer support or advice on ways we can release a pitch to the top administrators of HUD organization. We have the contact information for the top 12 executives and have already sent them information about the organization. We explained the capabilities of the organization and how LIFES organization is capable of renovating many of HUDS poor performing, abandoned and foreclosed government subsidized apartments throughout the country, in exchange for their support in the purchase of our pilot program, a 54 unit apartment complex, plus the funds for renovation. Because this is a major issue in many of these properties, together, LIFES and HUD could provide decent housing to low income families, free of life threating, health, safety and sanitation issues, a major problem in many of these apartments. These renovation process will yield HUD a large return on investment from these once poor perforing or abandoned properties. We have tried to contact HUD representatives to offer our services but did not get any response. For this reason, we would like your support or suggestions in ways to get HUDS attention. Please contact us and view our website at: www.lifesandfuho.org. I look forward to your immediate response. In behalf of all volunteers, supporting staff and the clinets we have and will serve, thank you in advance for yuor support. Sincerely, Lynnel Townsend CEO of LIFES

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