Earlier his week I was reading a blog post from PR News titled “Keeping It Short and Simple With the Media” by David Hamilton. It caught my attention immediately because of the title but also because after reading the blog post it takes me back to the same old question “What is the right way to pitch the media?”
Alison recently wrote a blog post titled “Are your Pitches Trash?” in which she states that there is no “one right way” to pitch someone a story.
I agree with Alison’s statement and while in general I agree with most of what Hamilton was stating in his blog post, I typically wouldn’t advise that one pitch a reporter with a novel about the subject, but I do disagree with some of his statements.
The first statement: “The reporters who cover our clients on a regular basis prefer an informal relationship, and chances are your contacts do as well.”
This is the exact opposite of how we here at HMA feel about our media partners. Each of us here in the office take the time every month to meet, almost always in person, with members of the media. We get to know them on a personal level, we often times feature them on our weekly #MediaMonday blog posts and we talk about the specific stories they assign/cover and how they like to be pitched. We work hard to build long-term relationships with the media that are anything but informal and try and help the media whenever we can.
The second statement: “Long-winded explanations may have their place in the boardroom but are ignored in the newsroom.”
If we go back to Alison’s statement that this is no “one right way” to pitch a story and to my point that we work one-on-one with media members on how they like to be pitched, then a blanket statement that a long-winded explanation is ignored doesn’t fit. Yes, some media members like short, precise statements to grab their attention but others might prefer all of the details. It highly depends on the media member and the subject in which you are pitching.
No matter what your exact strategy is for pitching the media, my recommendation is not to listen to any one piece of advice, but rather figure out what works best for your clients, in your local market, with your local media members.
What are your thoughts about pitching the media?