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Five Clever Ideas for Savvy PR pitches

Pitching by email?  Reporters can easily get 50 to 100 pitches a day in their inbox. That’s a lot of mail and they can’t possibly read and respond to it all, so your pitch really needs to stand out.

While it’s important for PR pros engaging in media relations to have a solid story and a better news hook, another essential pitching tip is to have a clever way to earn their attention. Here are five examples of creative pitches that worked:

1.  Cryptic screening.   To promote ParaNorman, a movie about a boy who sees the paranormal and is charged with saving his town from zombies (think The Sixth Sense meets Shrek), the promoters mailed zombies to bloggers… in caskets.  They hit up The Bloggess, a risky venture because, by her own admission, she has “quite a reputation for shaming terrible PR pitches.”  Turns out the crate with a casket and a zombie inside, along with a personalized note to The Bloggess herself from the “funeral director” did the trick.  She wrote this post as a result: Probably the best PR team ever.   This came out in August, but it’s a good reminder since Halloween is right around the corner:  Boo!

2.  A camera loves Pogue.  A letter from a camera – yes a camera: the Nikon D80 – contained a heartbreaking pitch to New York Times columnist David Pogue after he  wrote a review calling the rival Canon S95 “something special.”

“Well, I remember when I was your one special camera, the one you could come to for anything,” wrote the Nikon D80 to Pogue in a note Match.com could only dream about.  “But I don’t want to be spiteful,” continued the Nikon D80, “I only want what’s best for you, and I think you are a great match for my cousin, the P7000.”  In response, Pogue wrote,” Come on. That’s brilliant. I hadn’t heard of the P7000, but you’d better believe that I’m going to review it now.” Read the rest in Pogue’s PR Daily column here: Perfect PR pitches: NYT tech columnist picks his favorites.

3.  Pitching via Pay Per Click.  This is a pretty clever idea from AimClear – using PPC ads on LinkedIn to seed ideas.  LinkedIn allows you to target your ads by company, so for example, you could target by company name, for example, “The New York Times.”  Alternatively, you can also pay by impression. Read more about this clever PR idea here: Media Relations in the Social Age: Pitching Reporters Via LinkedIn PPC.

4.  Forget the pitch, write a nursery rhyme.  Off & Away, which sells deals for luxury hotels opted to send a reporter a nursery rhyme to announce their launch party. Puget Sound Business Journal reporter John Cook, liked it and wrote about it. “You’ve heard of startups making elevator pitches. But this is perhaps a new skill, boiling a company’s story down into a short nursery rhyme,” wrote Cook in an article titled, How to launch a new startup: Write a catchy nursery rhyme?

5.  Show your product doing something amazing.  There are two standouts for this paragraph.  First, Boeing, in an effort to turn the headline tide on its new Dreamliner 787, jet flew the aircraft across the U.S. – and the flight path drew the numbers “787 followed by the company’s logo. That PR stunt drew headlines for sure. Secondly, Toyota, trumping American car makers, has secured the privilege of towing the space shuttle Endeavor on the last quarter mile of its retirement journey to its final resting place at the California Science Center. “Toyota Tundra can (and will) pull a Space Shuttle,” reads the headline on AutoBlog.

What clever ideas have you seen work?

Photo credit:  Flickr and PR Daily

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