At the beginning of September, the White House announced South By South Lawn (SXSL), an innovation-themed event slated for Oct. 3 produced in tandem with—and based on—the iconic South by Southwest (SXSW) music, technology and film festival. The timing of the announcement gave SXSL planners only a month of lead time to build buzz and encourage audiences nationwide to tune in for the live stream, which garnered hundreds of thousands of live viewers.
It’s become part of the journalist’s editorial calculations by necessity. If they cover you, how many page views can you deliver to them?
There’s no surefire way to win media coverage for your brand, but strategic timing can help you avoid wasting hours of research and writing pitches that are routinely ignored by journalists. It pays to resist the pressure from senior leaders or clients to send that pitch right now and instead be a part of the news cycle’s ebb and flow.
One of the biggest trends PR faces is too much noise. I mean this for reporters who are inundated with pitches that might not be appropriate for them as well as the competition we face within the television industry for viewers. We’ve developed three strategies for facing this competitive environment.
While it’s almost time for school to begin in many parts of the country, there’s still a bit of time left in baseball season. And since the topic of today’s post is media pitching, our baseball-addled mind, or what’s left of it, thinks of relating media pitching to baseball pitching. It’s also a chance to, er, throw in a bunch of baseball references.
Through coordinated messaging and content efforts, PR pros can develop a unified voice for a brand, even if there are multiple departments in the organization. To do this successfully, media relations, PR and marketing activities should be developed and executed in tandem. Coordinating these efforts, steered by a messaging framework that maps the organization’s brand story, will help bring cohesion and direction to a multi-department organization internally and in the marketplace.
Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump ignored a staple of political communications in his announcement of Indiana Governor Mike Pence as his running mate. The news ran on different platforms at different times, and lacked the cohesion that typifies many political campaigns. After the announcement, the seemingly disjointed communications continued in their first interview together in a 60 Minutes segment aired July 17.
Full Court Press (Release): It’s almost become de rigueur for sports superstars to take a retirement victory lap: Announce you’re retiring the following year and spend your last season being showered with gifts and accolades from opposing teams when you visit their venues for the final time. It’s fine when you’re no longer at top form. It’s a different matter when you club a home run or sink a basket to defeat your opponent, which hours earlier presented you with a custom-built rocking chair and a Harley. 40-year-old David Ortiz has done that all season. His 22 home runs and league-leading 34 doubles have given the Dominican his best first half in Boston. Basketball star Tim Duncan, also 40, would have none of the swan song hoopla.
Good journalists and editors can smell when brands are looking for media coverage about how wonderful they are. By contrast, editors and journalists seek pitches that will touch their readers. They want stories about interesting problems. Issues or problems that large groups of people may be facing can make excellent stories. A pitch about one brand’s journey, told in its own words from start to finish, will not.
We’ll likely never know if the companies behind Pokémon Go—Nintendo, the Pokémon Co. and Google spinoff Niantic—had a hand in spreading the word about the tall and tall-ish tales related to an augmented reality scavenger hunt. In any case, the release of the game has tapped into a wellspring of media coverage.