Getting Reporters to Bite

You have thoroughly researched the media outlet and made sure it is an appropriate venue to pitch a story. Check. You have a reporter in mind at the outlet who has covered similar subject matters. Check. You have gone the extra mile to verify precisely the best time of the week/day to contact the reporter. Check.

Getting your pitch across the plate requires PR pros to be mindful of several things, lest the proposal end up in the circular file. But in a social media age, making sure you don’t waste a reporter’s time may not even be half the battle. That’s because you have to think about how the reporter can share the message with his or her network (and, in the process, enhance PR’s value).

The most effective way to do that is to embed an image in the content, according to a recent survey conducted by Edelman, Edelman Berland and journalism site Muck Rack. The online survey, conducted in late November, took the pulse of 251 U.S. media representatives.

Aside from including an image—hardly a foregone conclusion, despite growing calls for more visual storytelling—melding the pitch to a story already trending and localizing the story also were rated high by journalists when asked about shareable content. Including quotes from a third party, company spokesman or bloggers rated low.

So much for influencers, at least when it comes to shareable content.

Source: Edelman, Edelman Berland, Muck Rack
Source: Edelman, Edelman Berland, Muck Rack

This article originally appeared in the March 9, 2015 issue of PR News. Read more subscriber-only content by becoming a PR News subscriber today.