Make Sure Your Public Relations Campaign Is “Pitch Perfect”
Monday, November 10th, 2014
Hit the right notes with public relations experts who have mastered the art of PR pitching
Welcome to our essential business guide into the inner workings of a PR agency. In this post we look at one of the most important PR skills – pitching – and explain how it can make or break your chances of media coverage.
YOU’VE seen Dragon’s Den, right? Or maybe you’re more likely to tune into The Apprentice?
Either way you’ve probably held your breath and watched as some hopeful has stood up to make that potentially life-changing pitch to the money men and women.
Meanwhile budding entrepreneurs are regularly urged to perfect their “elevator pitch” and there are even entire training manuals and courses available for workers who want to “pitch” to their bosses for promotions or pay rises.
Whether you consider it an art or a science, pitching skills are embedded in many areas of business life. Indeed, “the pitch” is at the very core of successful public relations and here at Holyrood PR in Edinburgh we appreciate excellent pitching skills the same way a connoisseur appreciates a fine wine.
Like so much else in successful business, the devil is in the detail – and we’ll explain how as you read on.
Check out the other posts in our Through the Keyhole guide to the inner working of a PR agency
Many PR agencies (including ours) have access to expensive media databases. These allow PR people to compile detailed lists of writers, journalists and bloggers across just about any subject, interest or topic imaginable.
Brilliant. Except that too many lazy PR agencies have abused these services by playing a numbers game. They draw up a massive list of “targets” then “blast out” their media releases to as many people as possible.
Of course this “spray and pray” method delivers some results. But it’s a slash and burn policy that annoys and irritates more journalists and bloggers than it serves. They consider it spam when they receive unsolicited material of no interest to them. And it irritates the hell out of them.
Little wonder, because that’s not pitching, in fact it’s verging on abusive. Proper pitching involves nuance, attention to detail and fine tailoring, not trying to bludgeon a disinterested person into submission.
While it is much harder and more time-consuming, at Holyrood Partnership our PR team spend lots of time refining media lists and reaching out to media in person, by phone and via social media.
Our attention to proper pitching means we also makes sure that the material is just right – that it tells the most compelling story in the most interesting and attention-grabbing way to make it relevant for a specific audience.
Then we further refine our pitch by differentiating between publications to understand everything from style and tone to deadlines and preferred formats. We also make it our business to know about the different options available – from short news updates to major platform pieces and from first person interviews to industry thought leadership articles.
The difference between the two approaches is incredible. The same journalist who would add your name to a blacklist of “spammers” can become a valuable media ally, simply because a PR professional took the time to find out what the journalist wants, how they like to receive it and when is the best time to get in touch.
That art and science of pitching also comes in to play when dealing with the different needs of local press, broadcasters and the trade media. Or when working with social media and zeitgeist bloggers. Understanding the digital landscape is vital. Our team of PR experts will also give the same care and craft when pitching your story or idea to a social media audience.
Of course, there is far more involved in public relations, from dealing with stakeholders in political or planning processes, arranging public exhibitions, organising launch events or driving forward industry networking opportunities. In every case, the skills of preparing a proper pitch will serve the client better.
Find out how our public relations agency in Edinburgh could help your business
If you would like to find out more about why we’re so passionate about pitching and the measurable benefits that brings to businesses, then we’d love to speak with you.
You can contact us by phoning 0131 561 2244, or fill in the simple form below and we’ll get straight back to you:
Private: Ross Stebbing
As part of the expert PR team at a fast-paced Scottish public relations agency, Ross Stebbing works on diverse clients in sectors including film and media, construction, healthcare and logistics. While he delivers PR in Edinburgh, his results appear in newspapers, magazines and websites all across the UK and beyond.View Private:'s Profile
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