PR Pitches – should I follow up with journalists?
Media coverage is an essential part of getting your brand and message in front of your target audience but gaining coverage might be easier said than done.
Through carefully developing PR pitches and sending them to the right journalists, you can increase your chances of controlling the narrative and getting media attention.
It’s important to be cautious though as there are many unspoken rules that must be followed in order for you to get the coverage you require.
What is a PR pitch and why is it important?
A PR pitch is a tool used by communication professionals to brief journalists on a story. It aims to establish a relationship between the PR expert and media professional to encourage journalists to cover the story.
An effective PR pitch will be concise, targeted, and relevant to the journalist it is being pitched to. It will have a clear angle and must be newsworthy. A successful PR pitch can lead to increased media coverage, improved brand reputation, and new business opportunities. As with all PR activity, they’re also very cost-effective compared to other marketing or advertising tactics and are a great way to build relationships within the industry.
Finding the right journalist for your pitch
Finding the right journalist for your pitch plays a crucial role in having your story covered. It is important to identify who the target audience is and understand what media outlets they read or tune into.
After outlining key media outlets, research journalists who work for those publications or programs to identify who exactly you want to target. Established PR professionals will have their own network of contacts actively working in the media. If you don’t have a personal book of contacts, media databases enable you to find journalists along with their contact information, or, if you’re looking for a print/digital journalist, you can simply search their name on the publication they write for and the stories they’ve covered are often listed. It is important to ensure that the journalist will be interested in reporting on the topic of your story so check that their interests and previous stories align with your pitch.
To increase the likelihood of the pitch being picked up, make sure to personalise it to the journalist. Personalising the pitch means including their name, tailoring it to their interests and location. You want to avoid the journalist feeling like you have sent the pitch to a hundred people.
Finding the right journalist can be a tricky task. However, following these tips will boost the chances of your pitch being picked up and set you up for success.
Following up after sending the pitch
After sending out a PR pitch, you may be unsure whether to follow up with the journalist to make sure they received the pitch and are interested in covering your story. The general consensus is that it is appropriate to follow up after sending the pitch however, you must do so in a respectful, polite, and professional manner.
For example, be sure to give the journalist some time to read the pitch before following up. A call will provide ample opportunity for you to offer more information to them and clarify any questions they may have about the story.
Journalists have busy schedules so make sure to be concise and to the point when you do follow up. You want to maintain a level of professionalism that could help build a relationship with the journalist and leave a good impression. Ultimately, if the journalist does decline your pitch, you must respect their decision and thank them for their time rather than pressing for a different outcome.
The Adoni Advantage
After writing and sending a pitch, following up can be a great way to help ensure your email is not overlooked and can provide an easy opportunity for journalists to clarify information before they decide whether or not to cover the story. By following the guidance provided, your chances of receiving coverage are boosted however, these tips only scrape the surface of what media relations is and how you can use it to secure ongoing media coverage.
Adoni Media is a leading PR agency in Australia run by highly experienced communication professionals and former senior journalists. Having worked in the media industry for decades, the team at Adoni has extensive media contacts, and expertise on how to secure a story in the media.
To find out more about how you can gain media coverage for your organisation contact Adoni to enquire about our media relations services.