My previous post, 5 Reasons your PR Pitch is Falling Flat, has been quite the hit in one of my favorite LinkedIn Groups – and experts from all different backgrounds have weighed in on their best tips to increase your story’s chances of getting picked up. See some of the great tips from industry experts below:

Make Sure you Have a Great Story

In retail, it’s “location, location, location.” In PR, it’s story, story, story. But there are no guarantees of pickup no matter what you do!

-Robert Sax, Copywriter and Chief Storyteller of SAX PR/Marketing

 

When I worked as a journalist I saw at least 100 press releases cross my desk each day. What caught my eye was a solid headline with a good hook and then a solid news peg right in the lead. The ultimate factor was the decision of, “is this important to my audience? Is it relevant and timely?”

-Brady Bautch, Public Affairs Specialist at Veterans Health Administration Office of Public Health – Population Health

Use Multimedia

Multimedia will help spice up the text and will help tell your story. Our minds think in pictures, not words. A blend of images and words will give your news and brand energy.

-Susan Young, CEO of Get in Front Communications

Build Relationships with Journalists

Get to know the publications and individual journos that will be interested in your clients business and build a relationship with them, ask them what they are looking for at the moment so that you can send them related stories. You may find they have a requirement for something that would benefit client.

-John Parkinson, Editor at Peninsula Times Ltd

 

I want to put in a plug for that old strategy of cultivating relationships. If they know me, they trust me, and they will listen to what I have to say.

-Elizabeth Le Vaca, Corporate Communications and Media Relations Expert Specializing in Investment Management

 

Remembering that media outlets are selling a product, too, helps. Taking time to know the audience or demos of the various news and talk show formats in your area/region, cultivating relationships with the producers/talent is time well spent. It’s also helpful when crisis communication strikes. Much easier to talk with producers/reporters when there’s a relationship foundation.

-Jill Chadwick, Executive Media Relations Liaison at The University of Kansas Hospital

 

Relationships are critical with the reporters and producers, but that takes time. The reality is news directors, producers, editors and most reporters nowadays don’t have time to “do lunch” so it’s even harder than ever to develop rapport with the folks on the frontline. But once a media outlet does a story based on your pitch, you can use that as an opening to pitch future stories.

-Neil Foote, President/CEO at Foote Communications

Target the Right People and Tailor your Story to Them

Finding the right audience and right spin is extremely important. A pitch telling us why we should put this story on our evening newscast (i.e. why the subject is interesting) and how it will fit in to the NEWS rather than wanting us to do a 1:30 commercial for something is something to keep in mind. Also, tailoring a pitch to a journalist (as all are different) is very important too, know their “beat” and style, if possible build up a good professional relationship with them.

-Chris Anderson, Assignment Editor at KING-TV

 

I think one of the most important things is to be aware of what’s in the news each day. If there is a news hook and your pitch is relevant, it makes getting a hit that much easier. If a wide spread security breach of credit card data is discovered and you have a client that specializes in developing security software, you couldn’t ask for a better set up to pitch to a tech reporter. Knowing who covers what and pitching at the right time, makes it a lot easier to get hits.

-Al Nall, Public Affairs Officer at Howard County Health Department

 

When I worked as a journalist I saw at least 100 press releases cross my desk each day. What caught my eye was a solid headline with a good hook and then a solid news peg right in the lead. The ultimate factor was the decision of, “is this important to my audience? Is it relevant and timely?”

-Brady Bautch, Public Affairs Specialist at Veterans Health Administration Office of Public Health – Population Health

 

I made is a policy when I was the deputy PAO at a major command in Norfolk, Va., to target my releases very carefully instead of mass distribution. I also cancelled the base newspaper. That way, they knew that what we sent them probably had news value, so the would take the time to look at it rather than automatically throwing it in the circle file.

-Robert Jordan, Predident of Exeter Communications LLC

What are some of your best tips? Let us know with a comment!