Although it may seem like the media don’t have many slow news days lately, believe it or not, lifestyle editors are always looking for a good pitch. And remember: A feature story in your local newspaper or a segment on the morning news exposes your brand to thousands of people and immediately boosts your credibility.
In a recent article for Entrepreneur, Penny C. Sansevieri, CEO and founder of Author Marketing Experts, Inc., offered these tips to score coverage:
- Consider the “HUH” factor. Pitches should be hip, unique and helpful. In the media, “help” comes in many forms, Sansevieri said—it could be actual advice or even inspiration, education or entertainment. For instance, with the arrival of wedding season, you could pitch a piece on how wedding styles have evolved over the years. It’s rife with photographic possibilities (which reporters love), has the potential for humor (two words: puffy sleeves) and lets you share your expertise on current décor and color trends.
- Embrace brevity. “When it comes to pitching media, less is more, especially for producers sifting through 1,000+ pitches a week,” Sansevieri said. Your idea should be a single paragraph (or shorter). For more information, include a link rather than an attachment. A lot of people look at emails on their phones and links are easier to access.
- Tie into what’s trending. “The media is always anchored to what’s going on right now or, what might be coming up,” Sansevieri said. “Whenever there’s a news story you can comment on, make sure you have a pitch that’s tight, targeted and ready to go.” Here’s one you can try:
In response to the recession, many millennials are eschewing spacy suburban homes for 400-square-foot apartments in the city. At the same time, this demographic craves nature. Terrariums featuring succulents and air plants are low-maintenance, yet chic, ways to green their spaces. I could write an article detailing how-to create and care for a terrarium.
- Back up your statements. If you make a big claim (say, flowers increase productivity in the workplace), be sure to cite studies that prove it. Click here to see SAF’s research studies.
- Pitch the right people. Don’t count on people in the newsroom forwarding your pitch to the appropriate person. You want to make sure it gets to the right person from the start. Rather than targeting show hosts or reporters, target producers and editors. Typically you shouldn’t pitch multiple people at one outlet, but if you do, give them a heads up, “so no one is blindsided when they — and several colleagues — bring your pitch to a meeting.”