Be Pitch Perfect
By now, if you’ve been following the blog, you’ve done your research and are ready to pitch. There is a definite art to pitching and your job is to figure out how to position your products so that the value to the publication’s reader is highlighted. If the publication is geared toward a budget-conscious shopper, focus on the value, durability or classic fit of the item; if the publication is higher- end, focus on the fact that the product is hand-sewn and can be ordered in cashmere. If it’s an eco-friendly fashion blog, mention that the product is organic cotton and that 10 percent of proceeds are donated to an Earth-friendly charity.
Make it easy for the editor to see exactly how the story or product will fit into the publication, and give her easy access to information, images, and expert quotes so writing the article is enjoyable and easy to write.
Be sure to never send the exact same pitch to all of your contacts and make sure to avoid rookie mistakes like using a different font for the editor name or publication.
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 and any editor worth his or her salt will know what you are up to.
If you are sending out a general update for some reason, make sure to blind-copy editor emails. It is incredibly sloppy to share contact details for multiple media outlets by mass pitching on the To: line.
No matter the outlet, 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 a particular event, like a music festival, first date or wedding. • The red carpet at award shows is your friend. Fire off a pitch that explains how to get the look for less. • Create your own gift guide tailored to a certain publication or demographic.
Key Pitch Takeaways 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 your brand 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 templates.
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 Twitter. 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 had an exchange on Twitter about your mutual love for bubble gum ice cream.
Most blogs have a policy on how they work on their site, so read up on their requirements prior to sending your pitch. 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. Provide all the details they need to make an informed and interesting post for their readers. Be quick to communicate and 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. 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 public relations professionals and in-house company representatives 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 purple suede booties like those Jennifer Lawrence wore to the American Music Awards, 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. Approach your outreach from that perspective and you will increase your chances of a media hit.
These days the media is 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. Us this to your advantage. Write the pitch you want to read about yourself! 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 your grandmother. Notice what words you are using, and incorporate those into your pitch.
Who is excited and ready to get pitching? What angles are you using to get the media’s attention?
Want helpful tips and templates like the ones above plus more? Check out The Buzz: A Media Darling's Guide to Press Coverage and get on the wait list for Hearsay’s soon-to-be-launched PR mastermind group.