In today’s world, it’s becoming increasingly harder to cut through the noise and promote your brand. According to this infographic on Contently, people post 300 hours of video to YouTube and watch nearly 7 million Snapchat videos every minute. The amount of content consumed and created in mere seconds is enough to make a head spin.
So how can you pitch your brand to get news coverage and the exposure it deserves in this overflow of content? It all comes down to the efficiency and timeliness of pitching a brand to the right media.
At ChicExecs, there is a unique understanding of the media’s point-of-view. With 5 former news anchors on staff and a team of in-house lifestyle experts, ChicExecs has an uncommon advantage as a PR agency with a perspective from the other side. Here they’re sharing some of their secret tips to help your business cut through the noise and get your brand story in the hands of the right person in the right way.
Journalists and news producers are extremely busy, so it’s important to make sure that your message is clear and concise. Remember that a long email is easier to get ignored, so optimize the pitch to be short, sweet and scannable. Bullet points are strongly encouraged.
“I know how to a drive a message about a product in a conversational manner from my on-air experience. That allows me to deliver a concise message for my clients,” Courtney Bustillos, account executive at ChicExecs, said.
Prior to joining ChicExecs, Courtney hosted Cox San Diego Connection, a 30-minute show on Channel 4 San Diego. She also worked as an anchor, reporter, producer at San Diego 6 for five years. Prior to San Diego 6, she worked as an anchor and sports reporter at the CBS affiliate in Palm Springs.
“If a pitch is too long, news anchors just don’t have time for that,” Bustillos added.
Every company should decide on a spokesperson who will represent the brand when media opportunities such as TV segments and interviews come up. Once selected, this individual needs media training to get the message across in a way that resonates.
“They (our clients) are so grateful for interview tips and coaching,” Senior Account Executive, Jennifer Uy, at ChicExecs said. “People without TV experience tend to ramble instead of getting in those clear concise points.”
Most recently the Executive Producer for San Diego 6 News, Jennifer juggled breaking news, coordinated live shots and strategized with the news team to deliver shows that were both informative and entertaining.
“It’s important to tell the producers or media why they should share your story or why they should care about the segment,” Uy added. “This should also be done in a conversational manner.”
Learn how to showcase a product with key talking points and visuals that will help the media explain the brand as well.
Now that the key points are determined and the spokesperson has had coaching, it’s time to craft that pitch. Tailor your pitches to what you know the anchors and producers would like to see. If it’s a journalist, read their previous article contributions. For news anchors and producers, know what their interests are.
“We know the anchors as friends so we know when they come back from maternity leave, to pitch them baby products,” Senior Director of PR and Operations at ChicExecs and former news anchor Kristen Wessel explained.
Engage with the media on Twitter and other social media platforms. Social media is a great tool to stay in the loop on what is going on with their personal lives and that added knowledge will go a long way to impress journalists and news producers.
Typically the media isn’t receptive to phone calls, but they will appreciate follow-ups through email as long as they are not aggressive.
Understand that they are busy and may have flagged the pitch to review later. A gentle reminder is a great way to show due-diligence and genuine interest.
Pitching to the media may seem daunting, but by doing research and learning what stands out to the news producers, anchors and reporters, a brand or product can land a great feature to increase exposure.
Word of mouth and news features and segments combine into a recipe for PR success. It takes a lot of hard work and insider knowledge, but that’s why there are experts out there who are there to help companies along the way.
ChicExecs Account Executive Susan Franco who is a former anchor, reporter, producer at San Diego 6, KSWT and former writer/producer at KUSI summed it up best. “Approaching the media should always be personable, relevant and timely.”