In my ongoing effort to improve my pitching process and secure more stories, I regularly seek out articles and blog posts on the topic. Most will say to do your research on the person or publication you are pitching, keep the pitch short and to the point and to be sure the story is relevant to their reader. All good recommendations and definitely what we do here at HMA.
Searching Twitter, I happened upon the hashtag #PRfails. Instead of seeing actual public relations fails, like one would assume, the hashtag is mostly filled with journalists exposing bad habits of PR practitioners such as sending out mass pitches (still!), pitching the wrong person (um, Google) and even grammar and spelling errors (really!).
I did find an interesting article from PR News that modifies the famous S.M.A.R.T. goals to improve pitches. We reference S.M.A.R.T. goals when developing strategies for clients, but I like how it applies to pitching as well:
S: Strategic Stories that are well-planned and developed.
M: Meaningful to the recipient (hint: this is not your boss).
A: Accurate (in facts and newsworthiness), distributed to media lists that are...
The S.M.A.R.T. goals of pitching cover the basics of who, where and why, and go a step further to include the content of the pitch to ensure it is strategic, well-planned and developed. To say the least, it is a step in the right direction to avoid being featured on #PRfail.
What are some of your favorite pitching tips and tricks? To the more seasoned PR pros, what advice can you give about media relations?