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Tips on Pitching to the Media

Apr 2, 2008
So now you really feel like you are ready! You have decided to harness the power of PR to get national media attention on television, talk radio or in newspapers and magazines for your company, product or services. First, let me congratulate you on this point! This is a big step in the right direction of growing your media exposure!

By now you have probably sat down and looked at your topic, have fully developed your message and are confident and ready to start getting yourself out there. The next step in this process is the one that many dread and some even hate: pitching your message to the media. Here are a few quick tips on how to effectively pitch to the media supplied by Marsha Friedman.

1. Never pitch yourself. When you get in contact with the media, don't pitch your company or YOUR qualifications. "Focus your pitches on the issue that you are an expert on. For example, if you are a mortgage broker pitch a show idea or story about the best way to finance a home in today's market. If you are a doctor specializing in natural health pitch a show idea or story about the 10 foods that will fight off illness during the flu season." By pitching the issue you get the producer or journalist interested in your story first. What they want are hot, newsworthy topics that will grab and hold the interest of their viewers and readers, they do not want to be sold to.

2. Never pitch your product. If you are a product manufacturer it is very important that when you are pitching to the media that you do not focus the pitch on your company's product or service. "If you have a product or service, focus your pitch on the problem that your product or service solves. If you manufacture a diet product pitch a show or story on the obesity problems Americans and their children are faced with today. If you produce a line of gourmet cookies pitch a show or story about the value of quality family time and offer tips on how moms and dads can share baking time with their children." Again, producers and journalists shy away from pitches that sound like infomercials and it is an instant turn-off to their audience.

3. Don't rely on the media's research. Although the media will do their own homework - don't rely solely on the results of their research. "Make sure to give them your facts. This is especially important if your topic is controversial as you want them to have the data that supports your position." When you are pitching it is useful to have as many facts ready to use as possible. If you have a tricky or detailed topic, present as much information as you can so that the busy, inundated producer or journalist can grasp your message quickly. The more time you save explaining, the more time you can spend pitching the benefits of having you as a guest or featured on their pages.

4. There is power in numbers. What we are talking about here is especially true if you are pitching a controversial topic. "If you're pitching a controversial topic to a radio or TV show, select the guests you want to appear with you. This gives you more control of the segment and ensures your message will gain acceptance from the audience." If you do not have suggested guests to pitch to the producer, and they pick it up, you may just be setting yourself up for an on-air ambush, which if you are not prepared, can land you in deep water.

Hopefully these tips will help you get out there today and start pitching!
About the Author
Marsha Friedman has been a leading authority on publicity for authors for nearly two decades as CEO of Event Management Services, Inc (EMSI). If you would like to receive her free Ebook "How to Be a Great Talk Radio Guest" visit http://www.emsincorporated.com.
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