Whether you’ve landed a new client or are about to launch something big, there’s one pitch PR pros often forget.
Everyone working in media relations has their go-to reporters where they’ve made strong relationships and deep inroads. But there will be countless times where either you’ve landed a completely new or your existing organization throws you a curveball.
Before you know it, you’re pitching media in unfamiliar territory. With no pre-existing relationships or connections, you’ll be lucky if a journalist opens your email, let alone sends you a response.
That’s why the introduction is so important. Would you walk up to a group of complete strangers and ask for $100, expecting them to pull out their wallets? Building a relationship starts with asking for nothing in return.
Pretend you just placed on a new client that specializes in North American telecommunications. Before you pitch out a single story idea, research the major players in the media field that you’d like to work with. Then send them an introduction.
Tell them who you are, a sentence about what your company does and the kind of experts you have available, and how you look forward to maybe working on something soon. Make the email no more than three sentences.
You’d be surprised by the amount of replies you’ll get. The simple email not only helps identify your top targets, but it ensures that your first email isn’t a hard sell, which is a turnoff. Plus, you might even catch a reporter at the right time and end up landing a placement.
Replicate this method in whatever way makes sense. If your CEO is traveling to Silicon Valley for the first time, make an introduction to your top 10 West Coast tech reporters today. Two weeks before his flight takes off, do a follow-up and ask if they’d be interested in snagging coffee and learning more about some story idea.
So remember, when treading into new media territory, the first task is to ask for nothing at all.