5 Minute Guide to Media Outreach

Reaching out to the media can be a strenuous, drawn-out task most people need to plan for weeks, or days ahead of time. What happens when you’re on a time crunch and need to reach out to the media immediately? Where do you start? More importantly, how do you start?

In this blog post, we will go through the basics of media outreach that will cover everything from who to pitch to, to writing your pitch for a specific person.

Keep in mind, media contacts are also on a deadline, so every minute counts. Make sure your press release is good to go before reaching out to them. Why? Because you’ll be linking/sending your PR to them! Without your PR being done, what other tangible items can you send them? Having your press release finished and ready-to-go gives them the extra information they would need to determine whether or not to pick-up your story.

Is your PR ready? Let’s dive in…

Here’s your 5-minute guide to media outreach:

Determine Who to Pitch To:

With your PR queued up and ready to be shared, it is time to determine who is worthy enough to receive it. Put on your sorting hat and get ready to find the best media contacts to pitch to…

Here are some questions to ask yourself when determining who the best media contacts to share your PR with are:

  • What is their audience like?
  • Have they recently written about similar news in your industry?
  • Is the publication/media outlet they are part of relevant to your industry?

Asking yourself these three basic questions will help determine if the right contact fits your PR campaign needs. Creating the perfect media list is an essential part in your campaign. These people can make or break the traction your press release receives. You wouldn’t reach out to someone who covers sports and horticulture when your release is about winning a high technology award, right? No. It is crucial that you find the right person to reach out to.

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Pro Tip: When you do find a perfect contact, write down a little info about him/her: What publication do they work for? How long have they been with that publication/media outlet? What beats do they write about? What was their most recent story –All this information will help you create a customized pitch.

Outline Your Message:

Your press release has been edited to perfection. Now it’s time to outline the most important aspects of your release to write your pitch.

What is the most important aspect of your release? This is usually the most newsworthy aspect. Jot them down and sort through them.

Here are some questions you can ask yourself as you outline your release and create your pitch:

  • What is the most newsworthy aspect?
  • What will appeal the best to the media?
  • What are the most important facts?

Once you determine what the most important aspect of your release and surrounding facts and/or information the media might find helpful, write it all down. Organize your thoughts. You might have found yourself including everything in your release. That’s ok! Now is the time to nitpick and narrow it down to the Top 5 Facts that support your main idea. Remember: this needs to draw the attention of the media. Make it worth their while.

Pro Tip: Use pyramid style writing journalists use when jotting down information to write in your pitch. The most important aspect on top, with supporting information towards the end. You have to hook them in before they read the rest.

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Customize Your Pitch:

You’re almost at the media outreach finish line! It’s time for you to write your pitch. Are you nervous? Shake it off and get ready to write an irresistible pitch!

Let’s take a few steps back first…Remember those facts of the media contacts you have chosen? It’s time to put that in good use. Those fun facts will help you customize each media contact’s pitch.

How? Here’s some tips you can use:

  • Offer a follow-up/different perspective on a recent story of theirs
  • Relate one of their previous articles to your news
  • Tell them why their audience would be interested in your release
  • Explain why your story aligns with their publication’s news

These are just a few pitch ideas you can integrate into your media pitches. Remember: each media contact is different. Not everyone may fit into these categories. It is up to you to determine how you should pitch to them.

Pro Tip: Keep your pitch under 200 words. Why? The media only have a few moments to read your pitch. If you don’t interest them with the first 1-2 lines, they move onto the next. Keep your pitch short, sweet, and impactful. Including the link to your release will let them read any extra information they may need.

There you have it! Your 5-minute guide to mastering media outreach. Every second counts. It is important that you do all your research and writing in a timely matter. Make sure to find media contacts who are relevant to your press release. Pitch the most important facts and write customized pitches that grabs the media’s attention. Following this 5-minute guide will help improve your media outreach skills, especially during crunch time.

What are you waiting for? Start your media outreach campaign now!

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