How Are YOU Pitching to Editors and Reporters?

27 03 2010

For corporate communicators, it’s often hard to find the right way to pitch a story.  Journalists get overloaded with pitches and often times they will go unnoticed.  It’s important to make your pitch stand out.  ‘How do you do this?’ you’re probably asking.  There are many different opinions on what works but for the most part, professionals agree on what actually works.  I have compiled a list of six ways to make your pitch more successful:

1. Do research – Doing professional research on the journalist and their publication works wonders.  By reading articles of theirs, you are able to better understand what they look for in prospective topics, making your pitch stand out more in the flood of pitches they get everyday.  Also, research how the journalist likes to receive pitches – is it email? phone? or in hand?  For example, you wouldn’t pitch an upcoming book release to a reviewer of music.  Just like you wouldn’t pitch a brand new hunting tool to Cosmopolitan magazine.

2. Make your headline catchy – Simplify your headline to say what your announcement is and make it catchy.  Headlines that are forward and interesting give journalists and incentive to at least skim the pitch.

3. Keep pitches straightforward and simplified – Journalists often don’t have time to read a detailed pitch, so provide the facts, any links that are helpful, and contact information.  If they are interested, they will contact you.

4. Keep pitches conversational – Much like traditional, face-to-face media relations, being friendly and approachable helps in conversational tone, during a not-so-personal media relations age, and leaves a sense of relationship building.  When addressing them, use their name.  They don’t want to be just another journalist in a database of names.

5. Build and maintain relationships – corporate communicators and PR professionals work very closely with journalists so it is important to build a two-way relationship.  If you help journalists during a time of need, they will most likely help you by giving you the publicity needed.  It’s a two-way street and you can’t expect to get anything if nothing is given.

6. Be accurate and timely – Provide the correct information in a professional manner, otherwise you and your company’s reputation are at risk.  Also, respond ASAP.  Often times, if a journalist is interested, they will respond immediately with questions.  This is because they expect a fast response.  Remember they are on deadline and will move on if they don’t hear from you.

Many corporate communicators and PR professionals don’t take these into account and in turn, end up doing at least one thing on the list of what not to do.  By following these suggestions, your story pitch may end up as the next big headline.  Do you have any pitching suggestions?  Any ways you pitch that have shown to be successful?


What Measures is Teen Vogue Taking?

26 03 2010

Teen Vogue, an internationally known fashion magazine, has been taking great strides to maximize their teen following.  As with most print magazines whose sales are declining, Teen Vogue has turned toward ideas such as cross-promotion and social media techniques.

Teen Vogue, Haute Spot iPhone App

Recently, Teen Vogue has launched their Haute Spot salon service.  Teen Vogue has placed retail stores at malls throughout the country in hopes of increasing revenue.  Now, these retail stores are offering salon services, where teens can get their hair, makeup and wardrobes made over.  Haute Spot stores work closely with sponsors’ merchandise in return for advertising.

Along with the opening of salon services by Haute Spot, consumers are able to subscribe to the Teen Vogue Haute Spot Application.  The application gives users a peek into the latest clothing at the stores.  Users are able to create aliases, which are user names coupled with a picture, and give other users a look into their closet and favorite style pieces.  Other capabilities of the app are ‘my friends’ and ‘community’ sections so users can converse and share what is going on in their style world.

Although I am not a Teen Vogue follower anymore, this app seems like something I would have begged my parents to get me when I was.  Not to mention, I also would have died to get a style makeover at one of the Haute Spot locations.  These uses of cross-promotion and social media are a good source of revenue but since it is Teen Vogue, they target a teen audience who usually rely on their parents to hand over the bucks.  As a teen I know I was fairly draining on my parents’ wallets, so it’s no wonder that these innovations could lead to serious revenue streams.

That being said, do you think Haute Spot will be a success? If so, do you think it’s a good idea during such a hard financial time for many people?