We’ve always hated the word “pitch”. It really isn’t the right way to describe the approach we take when placing a story idea or new product into the hands of a magazine editor, television producer or blogger.
After we target the media for our clients, we begin by empathizing with the editor’s position. He/she is bombarded by interruptions all day long. The last thing we want to do is contact them before doing some research. And one of the first things we do is look to see if the story has already been written. If it has been done, than we ask, how can we add to it? If it hasn’t been written yet, then we can begin crafting the perfect story angle for their publication, segment, column or blog.
We like to inspire, enlighten and educate our journalist contacts to the benefits of our client’s new launch. We tailor the message to the media outlet. This is a wiser approach to sharing timely and newsworthy information that a writer can use. No writer wants to hear a mass blanket pitch. No way.
When crafting a story idea and angles around our client’s news, we try to think like a reporter and find the inside story. We challenge ourselves and our clients to really consider the reasons why an editor or freelancer would care about their “oh so important new launch.” We ask the questions a reporter would ask before we begin smiling and dialing our way through the day.
Some of the reporter’s questions are:
- Is this a trend? Have other companies launched something similar?
- Has there been any research done to back up the need for this new launch?
- Has anyone tried it yet? Can I interview users of this new launch to talk about their real life experiences?
- Is there an expert that can speak about the science/function behind this new launch?
Clients typically ask us – How do these editorial placements come about? How long do they take? Where do you begin? What results can I expect?Our best feature story placements have been with publications like The Wall Street Journal (almost two years to place and a lot of persistence and updating the editor with company news, staying on his radar about new developments);The New York Times, practically writing the story for the reporter, finding real life interviews and examples to back up the story idea; The Today Show, flying out to Las Vegas to stage the segment after 3 months of preparation; Good Morning America, hand delivering the expert and products to the segment producer to be included in the top holiday gift segments touted by top-tier women’s magazine and beauty “bible” Allure.