Getting to grips with PR pitching
When asked what we do in PR, we always have to take a moment to think how to can best answer. Reporting, writing, client management, creative thinking and all the other day-to-day tasks come to mind, but really it all comes down to media relations and pitching.
The bulk of the job is all about maintaining close relationships with press. Press and PRs have a mutual need for one another. We are the ones bringing the newest, most exciting brand news to light and in turn, journalists want to know they can come to us and find out anything they want to know about a client.
If you’re not a confident phone speaker, it’s best you start getting on the phones as soon as you can so you don’t build up a phobia. Emails are easy, but they just as easily get filed away into a folder never to be seen again. You can’t always get through to the people you need to speak to, journalists are in fact as busy as The Devil Wears Prada or 13 going on 30 makes them out to be. It’s not often you’ll catch them at their desk, but if you do and you’re ready to talk the talk you will most certainly have their attention for a minute.
Before you make the call be confident you know the product you are pitching, that you understand exactly how it works and if you can get a USP in there then that’s great – that’s what sets it apart from the crowd. Chances are, this product is not the only one of its type on the market so a hook is key.
Introduce yourself and the brand you are calling from, and ask if they have a minute to catch up. Once you’ve given topline info and key features, ask if they would like to be sent more information. Offer to send over a press release and high res images so they can keep them on file in case of a relevant feature. A sample usually goes down well too.
Continue to nail your pitching and it will be second nature in no time. Just remember to you your research so you’re not ‘um-ing’ and ‘ah-ing’ down the line!