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FROM PITCH TO PRESS: TIPS For LANDING A SUCCESSFUL FEATURE

As a publicist, one of the best feelings that we share is seeing one of our carefully crafted pitches come to life in a journalist's story whether that is online, in the glossy pages of a magazine or nestled on page 6 of the local newspaper.


However, mastering the art of landing a media hit takes more than luck; it calls for research, strategy and commitment. Whether you are a seasoned PR professional or jumpstarting your career in the world of public relations, we’ve compiled our top tips for landing a successful media hit. 



The goal is to make your pitch newsworthy for the media. To achieve this, we recommend ten elements and questions to ask yourself when crafting your pitch that will help you decide if your story is newsworthy:


  1. Timeliness: Is the information you are sharing recent or current? 

  2. Change: Is there something new or different?

  3. Impact: What is the significance and who does this affect?

  4. Proximity: Where is it taking place? 

  5. Prominence: Is this related to a renowned or well-known place, person, or activity?

  6. Education: Is this something useful that will inform the publication’s audience?

  7. Trends: What do you predict will happen in the near or distant future?

  8. Conflict: Are there people or brands engaged in conflict or disagreement with each other?

  9. Surprise: Is there anything unexpected?

  10. Human Interest: Can you make it personal? 


Personalized pitching is key to landing a media hit. Our job as publicists is to be a resource for journalists. Understanding their needs and how you can assist them while keeping your pitch short and sweet (under 200 words), can increase your chances of success. We suggest avoiding the impersonal approach of mass pitching and instead, aiming for a personable touch that resonates with one journalist. PRO TIP: many journalists have a priority section in their email for trusted contacts. As publicists, our goal is to secure a spot in that section. 


The earlier the better when pitching to journalists. Timing is everything in public relations, as trends can quickly move in and out and journalists are always seeking fresh stories to cover. We’ve found that earlier in the week tends to be prime pitching time, as most journalists are focused on upcoming stories. As the week progresses, it becomes more challenging to introduce new pitches before the weekend rush and deadlines.


Following up on a pitch is more than sending just a reminder— it’s about adding additional insight or presenting a fresh media angle that complements your initial pitch. Our goal should be to catch the eye of journalists with compelling content, rather than inundating their inboxes with “just following up” messages.


Don’t forget to keep an eye out for coverage after sending your pitch to journalists. There are both free tools like Google Alerts and paid services such as Critical Mention that can help you track any mentions. While most journalists may not respond to pitches unless they specifically need any additional assets, silence doesn’t always mean they’re not considering your pitch for their next big story.

 

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