Pitch(ing) Perfect: Three Tips for Getting Media Coverage

At HRmarketer, one task we do for clients is media relations; you could say we relate to the media for a living. This means we can sometimes take it for granted that everyone knows how to do it. 

HRmarketer offers many resources companies can use to get their names known and their news out, but that doesn’t mean everyone knows how to use those tools efficiently or properly. Here is our blueprint for success:

1. Read a lot
Try to keep up with what’s going on in your (or your client’s) domain, for example, the world of recruiting. That means reading a lot, which can be too time-consuming if you don’t manage it just right. Using RSS feeds of blogs and media outlet websites, news aggregators for your targeted industry and social media search, listening and analysis tools (such as our own SocialEars HR), you can narrow your reading list to the relevant and timely news you need.

Being decent and pleasant in all your
communication with media contacts will
help you develop valuable relationships.
Using these tools, find headlines about new developments in the relevant industry. Read those articles, combine that information with your (or your client’s) expertise and pitch thought leadership pieces to appropriate media outlets. Doing this intelligently vastly increases your pitches’ chances of being accepted.

2. Create relationships
Being friendly with reporters and editors can have long-lasting benefits, but it also can take time to reap the benefits.

A great way to create relationships with media contacts is the same way you do so in day-to-day life: by being decent and pleasant with them in all your communication, whether via email, social media, phone, etc. If they’re located in your area or they’re going to be at the same conference as you, consider inviting them to coffee or for a meal, with no strings (or pitch) attached.

While our general advice is to start now and be prepared to wait, some relationships are formed quickly when, for instance, you do Tip No. 1 and send out good pitches. Editors like to work with people who’ve done their homework and don’t waste their time. Cultivating relationships in today’s social media age has never been easier. Follow influential bloggers, thought leaders, journalists and editors on Twitter, and interact with them. Tweet or email them links to third-party content you think they’d be interested in. You can join LinkedIn groups they run or take part in, read and comment on their blog posts and articles—you get the idea. Yes, this also takes time, but take the long view. This pays off eventually, for both parties.

3. ABC: Always Be Cruising (for new outlets)
If you’re reading this, you probably have at least one media list, but don’t just rely on media lists, especially if they haven’t been updated in awhile. At HRmarketer, one thing we do is update and monitor press contacts and blogs, and believe us, reporters and editors move around a lot and blogs appear and disappear all the time.

So make sure you’re not missing anything. Search for top blogs in your (or your client’s) industry. If you find “top” blog lists, check out the blogs on them and find out their guest post policies. This can take several hours of work, but if you keep hitting the same outlets over and over, you miss the opportunity to broadcast your story (or your client’s story) as far and wide as possible.

In closing, doing quality pitching takes time, and not every pitch is going to result in a placement. However, if you take the time to read and listen, cultivate relationships, and keep on the lookout for new opportunities, your placement percentage will absolutely increase.

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