How to be pitch perfect
Ready to get your pitch on, but not sure what you should say?
While there is a definite art to pitching, it doesn’t have to be an intimidating (or impossible) task. Rather, your job is to figure out how to position your brand, product, or service so that the value to your target audience is highlighted.
Dos and don’ts
If you are aiming to reach a budget-conscious shopper, tailor your approach to focus on the value and durability of your offering.
If your focus is higher-end, draw your target customer’s attention to the fact that the product is hand-sewn and can be ordered in luxurious cashmere.
Are you eco-friendlier? Then mention that your product is organic cotton and that 10 percent of proceeds are donated to an Earth-friendly charity.
Make it easy for your target customer—or a member of the media—to see exactly how your product, service, or story will apply directly to them.
Then, especially if you are pitching your story to the media, give them easy access to information, images, and quotes so that writing an article featuring your brand is enjoyable and easy to write.
Make sure to never send the exact same pitch to all your media contacts. Just as you would like every person on your outreach list to take the time to reach your pitch, they also would like you to take the time to know who they are, what interests them, and what their name is
Also, be careful with copy and pasting or making small adjustments to multiple pitches, as many email programs will alter the color and font of forwarded messages. Anyone in 2018 knows that if this is the case, you’ve copy and pasted without a second thought to what you were doing.
If you are sending out a general update all at once, make sure to blind-copy everyone’s email address. It is incredibly sloppy to share contact details for multiple people or media outlets by mass pitching on the To: line.
No matter your target audience, here are some ideas to kick-start your creativity and begin to develop multiple pitch angles for media:
- Connect your product to a current trend.
- Show a celebrity in a look that is similar to yours.
- Create a visual that connects your product to an upcoming or iconic film.
- Pitch how different versions of your product are perfect for traveling, business, gifts.
- Show your product as the perfect accessory for an event, like a music festival, first date, or wedding.
- Watch the red carpet at award shows and pitch how to get one or two looks for less.
- Create your own gift guide tailored to a certain publication or demographic.
In the health, fitness, food/beverage, and lifestyle industries, most companies are interested in product placement.
This means having specifics products photographed by the magazine and/or used in an editorial spread.
It’s important to note, however, that there are multiple angles that go beyond just the product itself when trying to place it. Examine the different kinds of angles that could be written about your offering.
Remember, even at the most basic level, there’s always a business and brand story to tell.
When pitching a story, focus on what makes yours unique. What makes your brand newsworthy? How does your brand tie into current events or seasonal trends?
Finally, rely on your collateral pieces and product photography to do the heavy lifting around product placement for you.
Ready to get started? Put your best pitch forward by downloading these helpful pitch scripts.
While the following tips are great for any media outlet, a little extra effort before pitching a blogger can have a massive payout.
Before you reach out to any bloggers, choose five to 10 blogs at a time that are a great fit for your brand and begin to read them daily. Comment on their posts and engage with them on Instagram.
After a few weeks, when you feel like you really understand their style and voice, develop a pitch that is personalized to them. Include details that demonstrate you have read previous posts, or have had an exchange on social media about your mutual love for cotton candy.
Most blogs have a policy on how they work on their site, so make sure to read up on their requirements prior to sending your pitch.
Then, make it easy and fun for bloggers to work with you by being both personable and extremely thorough about what it is you are looking for. It’s to your benefit if you provide all the details they need to make an informed and interesting post for their readers.
Be quick to communicate and remain flexible. When in doubt about what to pitch, simply email and ask what type of opportunities, brands, and information the blogger wants to receive from you.
In addition, review the blog and social media properties thoroughly before committing to sending out any free product. If you don’t want to work with that blogger, respectfully communicate why and any tips on how they might appeal to your goals down the road.
More likely than not, you will hear from bloggers who want to write about your product or host a giveaway. When opportunities like this arise, don’t be afraid to ask questions like, how many unique visitors they get each month, what type of participation they typically get on giveaways, and to send you some examples of previous contests.
Make sure to check out the tone of the blog as well as the tone, quantity, and quality of the comments the blog receives. If you don’t feel like it’s a fit, let them know they are welcome to write about your brand, but that you either aren’t currently doing product giveaways or that you don’t think it’s quite the right fit.
Rejection is hard, isn’t it? As ghosting a blogger—or any member of the media—is not allowed when trying to be a media darling, we’ve pulled together a sample rejection letter just for you!
Trust the process
It might seem nerve-wracking, but there is a time-honored tradition of back and forth among the person doing the pitching and the one accepting the pitches that leads to what we read in magazines and watch on The Today Show.
Simply put, the media knows why you’re calling (or emailing— when in doubt—assume you should always email first).
Remember that your job is to make the editor’s lives easier.
They have a story to write, and you have the information they need to write the story. They need a pair of boots like those Beyoncé wore last Saturday night, and you’ve got them.
The media’s job is not, and never will be, to make you famous or to get people to buy your shoes, however. Approach your outreach from that perspective, and you will increase your chances of becoming a media darling.
These days media outlets are more pressed for time than ever before, and it’s amazing how often parts of your email pitch will make it into the actual article.
Use this to your advantage.
Write the pitch you want to read about your brand! Emulate the tone of the magazine in your pitch and focus the information on what is most relevant to that publication.
For a celebrity weekly, do your best Gossip Girl impression. For a business publication, lead with statistics or quotes that demonstrate thought leadership from your CEO.
If you are struggling, pretend you had to describe the magazine to a friend, or even your grandmother. Notice what words you are using, and incorporate those into your pitch.
How are you getting the media’s attention?
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