Every communicator know the holy grail of media pitching is establishing a relationship with a journalist. But how is that done in the digital age? Michael Smart offers two examples of how his clients made a personal connection with a reporter that resulted in coverage for the client’s brand.
Despite the digital landscape, there are a few timeless journalistic axioms that can help PR pros elevate their media pitching. AbbVie’s Public Affairs chief Morry Smulevitz provides tips learned during a lifetime of watching his father work.
Self-help gurus say you are who you are if you think you are. Same goes with pitching, where confidence is 90% of the game. Michael Smart tells the story of two pitches that were similar but one made a critical error and ended up on in the trash.
In part, pitching the media is a confidence game. For that reason and several others, it’s critical to keep your confidence level high when pitching, pitching guru Michael Smart argues. While Smart understands why journalists blast PR pros at online sites, he urges pitchers avoid those sites lest they lose their confidence and abandon techniques that have worked and will continue to be successful.
The media’s fascination with Donald Trump’s candidacy began in 2015. It continued in 2016, when during the 24 weeks of presidential primaries (Jan. 1-June 7) “there was not a single week when Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, or John Kasich topped Trump’s level of coverage,” a July 2016 study from the Harvard Kennedy School’s Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics and Public Policy says. Even after Cruz and Kasich quit the race in early May, essentially ceding the race to Trump, the businessman received more coverage than either Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders, the Shorenstein report says. Jump to the past two-and-a-half months and communicators can legitimately be forgiven if they feel like social media platforms and the media have adopted a philosophy of “all Trump all the time.” How can PR pros break through this clutter?