How Not to Er, ‘Pitch,’ Like 50 Cent

Don’t quit your day job, 50 Cent. The rapper, also known as Curtis Jackson, tossed out the first pitch at Citi Field Tuesday night. If you can call it that. But it was all in good fun, a circuitous reminder for communicators and PR pros on the right way to, er, “pitch.”

50 Cent, whose pitch ended somewhere east of Albany, now joins the pantheon of The Worst First Pitch of All Time, along with Gary "Baba Booey" Dell'Abate, from The Howard Stern Show.

Since the media are having a field day with this story (sorry), we though we would give it a PR spin.

In PR, of course, the “pitch” is one of the most important facets of the profession.

Knowing how to pitch the media could determine whether your story sees the light of the day or languishes within the four walls; whether PR gets additional dollars during budget season or is left to do (even) more with less.

With that in mind, here are a few salient tips on how to pitch the media, with a hat tip to Kelly Kass, director of media relations at Weber Shandwick.

> Build a relationship with the media. Personal relationships oftentimes help the professional ones.

> Network beyond traditional industry events—think sports clubs and book club.

> Connect via social media to learn more about the reporter both personally and professionally.

> Make your pitch short and sweet and tell a good story.

> Hustle when media interest is secured. Time is always of the essence.

Anything you would like to add to the list?

Follow Kelly Kass on Twitter: @kellykass

Follow Matthew Schwartz on Twitter: @mpsjourno1

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About Matthew Schwartz

Group Editor, PR News: Matthew Schwartz is group editor of PR News, the leading source of trends, how-to content and best practices for PR professionals. Matthew leads the editorial strategy for PR News’ premium content products—including its weekly newsletter—and for its digital presence. Matthew was editor of PR News from 2003-2005. Prior to returning to PR News, Matthew was a reporter for Crain’s BtoB and Media Business magazines, where he covered business marketers and media companies. He was also editor of BMA Buzz, a biweekly email newsletter covering B2B marketing, advertising and social media, and contributing writer to Advertising Age Custom. Matthew has helped to launch blogs on behalf of ZoomInfo and direct marketing agency The Kern Organization. He also spent a few years in cable-news precincts, working as a writer/producer at CNN and Fox News Channel.

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