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3 Things to Know About a Media Contact Before You Pitch

Last week we covered “4 Things to Know About a Media Outlet Before You Pitch.” This week we’re focusing on three factors to consider when finding the most relevant journalists, bloggers and influencers for your story—so you can narrow down your media list, select the contacts most likely to cover your news and run a truly successful outreach campaign.

1. What they cover.

Knowing what beats or topics a journalist or blogger covers is usually the first step to influencer relations. Don’t forget to drill down as far as you can to uncover the niche topics, recurring stories and angles your contact prefers. “Education” is a vague beat, but testing and curriculum standards in New York State isn’t. “Politics” can be imprecise, so a columnist might choose to focus on mayoral and aldermanic politics in Chicago. Use this information to determine if your story is a good fit and create a targeted pitch.

2. What they covered recently.

Familiarize yourself with a journalist’s or blogger’s content so you can avoid pitching a story they may have covered recently. In turn, knowing what has been published by a contact can help you get coverage if you are able to provide a new development to the story, an expert source that hasn’t been consulted or a fresh viewpoint that complements the original news. Don’t be afraid to reference your familiarity with the journalist’s or blogger’s work in your correspondence—this can be helpful in starting a conversation and creating rapport.

3. How they prefer to receive information.

This can refer to the types of media and formats a contact likes to receive. For instance, a journalist might prefer a link to a press release or branded newsroom rather than an email attachment. An influencer might appreciate an infographic that’s easy to share with followers on social media. This can also refer to how a contact prefers to communicate. For example, a newspaper reporter might want to receive breaking news by phone and long-form feature pitches via email, Tuesday through Saturday. Acting on how a contact likes to receive information will make your pitches stand out.

News From Cision: Want more tips on how to pitch the media? Check out Cision’s latest tip sheet, “10 Do’s and Don’ts of Media Pitching.”

About Teresa Dankowski

Teresa Dankowski is a content marketing manager at Cision and covers best practices in marketing, PR and social media. She enjoys printmaking, wine, TV and dominating at rec league softball.

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