Marketing and public relations professionals should follow these tips to pitch a client's article for publication to a magazine or other media outlet.
For public relations or content marketing professionals, securing media coverage for clients is vital in providing top-shelf service. Getting B2B content published, developing media partnerships, and facilitating interviews and other interactions with the press can help your clients reach target and vertical audiences again and again, while also establishing their thought-leader status within an industry.
Visibility and prominence in trade media outlets is particularly important for B2B tech businesses that offer market-specific services or products. For these companies, a solid content marketing strategy that establishes relationships with trade publications, industry associations and thought leaders can lead to recurring media opportunities that keep your client's name and message top of mind, which is ideal.
Establishing media relationships often starts with pitching a client's article idea, interview or collaboration opportunity to a trade publication editor or reporter. Here, we outline six keys to developing the perfect media pitch.
1. Get personal.
Personalizing your pitch is a must. Find out the editor's name or media outlet's key contact person and address your pitch to that person specifically. You want the media to take notice of what your client has to offer. To do that, you need to approach your pitch with authenticity and connect with your media contact on a personal level. Present your client's value proposition in clear terms, and outline the real benefits of working with your client. Ensure your tone is professional yet collegial.
2. Know your audience.
Researching the media outlet beforehand is essential in creating a winning pitch. You should familiarize yourself with the kind of content the publication or channel typically features to ensure it's a good fit for your client and their message. If it seems like a great fit, then position your client as meeting a need that the media outlet has, such as serving as an expert guest columnist on a popular technology or subject.
3. Be exclusive.
Offering a media outlet an exclusive interview with your client company's CEO is crucial, especially when you're pitching to a publication or channel that doesn't know you or your client well. Like every business, media outlets are in competition with one another and want to get the scoop on new companies and products before their peers do. Presenting an exclusive interview opportunity to the press will help the media outlet differentiate itself from its competitors, while providing positive media exposure for your client.
4. Timing is everything.
Knowing information such as whether your client can address a current trending topic or whether the media outlet operates using an editorial calendar helps you position a pitch. If your client is a cybersecurity SaaS provider and enterprise cybersecurity is a featured topic in a publication or website's next issue, the editor will find your pitch more attractive. Timing media interactions with a client's product release or major event can also generate buzz around launches and events.
5. Use facts and stats to strengthen the pitch.
Now more than ever, journalists and reputable publications and other news media outlets are wary of fake news. Cite reputable sources to support your pitch and client's value proposition. If you are going to call your client a thought leader, mention recent conference appearances, editorial contributions, industry events and roundtable discussions to which your client has contributed.
6. Follow up.
This may seem like a no-brainer, but if you don't receive a response from your initial pitch, follow up. Media professionals are busy people, and your pitch may have gotten lost in their inbox. You're competing for attention with your client's competitors, and polite persistence can help the reporter remember your initial pitch and put your client's name back at the top of their list.
Once you secure an initial interview or editorial placement with a media outlet, the chance of future coverage with that outlet grows exponentially. If you can establish your client's reputation for delivering quality content, members of the media will turn to you and your client when they need an expert's opinion on a subject or a quote from an industry leader. That kind of continued media attention goes a long way in raising your client's profile in the market and often leads to better press opportunities in the future.