July 11, 2019
Comms Best Practices
/ by Rebecca DeLorenzo
Imagine this: you’ve just sorted through the nearly endless sea of influencer profiles and after careful consideration, found the perfect journalist for your story. They embody your brand and its values, and you know that your target audience will listen to this journalist. You spend hours crafting the perfect pitch, send it off and leave the office. Your job is done. You check your inbox a few days later and see that the journalist has not responded to your email. Did you send it to the wrong person? Is your computer connected to the Internet? Is this even real life?
What happened? Chances are another brand also found this journalist to be a perfect fit and did a better job with their pitch than you did. While the art of the pitch may seem daunting, you can drastically improve your chances of reaching a journalist and continuously collaborating with them if you take the following tactics into consideration.
You’ve found the perfect journalist for your story, but don’t just blindly reach out! Ask yourself, have I ever interacted with this journalist before? You interact with dozens of people a day and it could be easy to forget if you have, in fact, contacted this person, whether it was months or years ago. But what can you use to keep track of these interactions? A beat-up notebook hidden in the depths of your file cabinet? You need a platform that automatically stores email correspondence and keeps it in one, easily searchable place.
Cision Influencer Relationship Management doesn’t stop at just tracking your email correspondence. This feature allows you to truly nurture your relationship with the journalist. Stage and centralize team notes and record any interaction you or your team members have had with the journalist. With Influencer Relationship Management technology, years later you will know exactly who emailed, spoke to, or had lunch with a journalist and when. Tag individual journalists to know if a contact is a lead you’re pursuing a relationship with, one you know very well, or a detractor that you should avoid.
Once you’ve familiarized yourself with any previous journalist interactions, it’s time to decide where to send your pitch. Some people hate when you text them and others hate when you call them. Journalists have the same preferences (often with email vs. social media). It’s your job to get to know and understand them so that your perfectly crafted pitch goes to the right place. Keeping track of a contact’s preferred method of communication is key if you’ve interacted with them before. If you’ve never contacted a journalist prior to your pitch, it’s essential that you have access to a database platform that frequently updates contacts so that you not only know how to contact someone, but also know for sure that the contact info is still active.
You’ve chosen a journalist and made sure you know how and where to contact them—you’re in the homestretch. Now that you know your message will definitely make it to the journalist, you need to get them to read it.
There’s nothing worse than receiving a long, rambling email with no clear purpose. With the average human attention span reaching an all-time low of just eight seconds, every second a journalist spends reading your email is critical. Deploy Cision Story Kits to make your message stand out in a clearly organized way to make a journalist more likely to read and understand your pitch.
Story Kits update the humble pitch for a world of modern storytelling. They deliver your story in consumable bites and are created to include quotes, spokespeople, high-res images and more. Arm your point of contact with all of the necessary facts, historical background, quotes, interviews and multimedia elements to ensure they understand your pitch and turn your pitch into a great story.
Pitching journalists shouldn’t be the most stressful part of your day. It is true that journalists are receiving more emails than ever before, but Cision Influencer Relationship Management arms you with the tools you need to cut through the chatter and get your message to the influencer that is going to make an impression on your target audience.
Having started at PRNewswire in 2014, Rebecca has experience across product development, product marketing, and digital marketing. She now serves as Product Marketing Specialist for both Cision Influencers and Database offerings. Rebecca holds a bachelors degree in Economics and French from Villanova University.
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