This week marked the beginning of my second month at my internship. After four weeks in I finally feel less like the new girl and more like a pr professional who has a perspective and view on the field, no matter if it is still a small one 🙂 That being said I thought it would be beneficial to myself, other new pr professionals and people looking to get into the field to hear my thoughts- me being a bright, fresh new face to the profession. That being said, I decided my first topic would be…. media pitches.
Since the start of my internship much of my time has been devoted to pitching the media. Not only has this task taken over a good portion of my time sheets, but has also proven to be the most challenging and rewarding aspect of my internship thus far. I have not only pitched one story, but numerous over a variety of topic areas and therefore, although still very new at this staple pr task, I have already come up with some hints/tips for myself as well as anyone pitching the media. I’m sure more will come as my internship and life continues but for now here it goes:
- Know the topic you are pitching, WELL. One of the reasons I was initially drawn to PR was because of the wide range of subjects and assignments you are exposed to due to the nature of the field. Once starting this internship I was not disappointed. I have already worked on such wide ranging subjects as art, hr, finance, public utilities, just to name a few. One of the very first things I learned when contacting the media though is, know your shit. It does not matter that you may have 20 different clients in 20 different sectors because at that moment you are the pr expert on *subject a* and you better be sure to know what you are talking about and be able to answer questions if you are asked, or else how are you going to be taken seriously by anyone let alone a reporter?
- Know your reporter, or try your hardest to. One of the major frustrations I have had thus far is being new and not familiar AT ALL with the reporters I am expected to pitch to. Sure I know the reporters I previously followed in my personal time, but I quickly learned there is a whole world of journalism to navigate and it takes finesse to master. I did not realize the importance of this tip until I began pitching for myself and realized that if I don’t know my reporter and his/her interests or beat I could end up wasting both of our time. It is near impossible to pitch a story to someone who is not interested or does not cover that topic no matter how persuasive you are. Therefore Lexis Nexis, Google News, and online pub searches are quickly becoming my best friends.
- Be persistent. This is by far the main thing I have learned about media pitching over the past month. Media pitching is hard. Media pitching is time consuming. Media pitching is a lot backtracking. But with persistence, you can succeed. Now of course by persistence I do not mean annoyance, but I do mean making sure you and your story are visible, you are doing the appropriate follow-up, and you are not giving up especially with a story that is great and a pub or reporter it is perfect for. Of course you might not always succeed, but you could.
So I realize that was only three tips, but I didn’t want this post to take up my whole page and plus hey, I’m still new and there is plenty of time for insight in the future. But for the start of week #5 that is my first intern insight, and be sure there will be more to come 🙂