Deprecated: mysql_connect(): The mysql extension is deprecated and will be removed in the future: use mysqli or PDO instead in /home/a26f9f83/public_html/articles/includes/config.php on line 159
Forget the Press Release - Heres How to Pitch Like Roger Clemens > NetSparsh - Viral Content you Love & Share

Forget the Press Release - Heres How to Pitch Like Roger Clemens

Stripped down to its core, publicity is little more than one
person persuading another. You, the publicity seeker, must
persuade a journalist that your story is worthy of receiving
print space or air time. Your ability to sell your story to a
journalist is what it's all about.

If you've ever sat with an insurance salesman who droned on and
on, you probably know that simpler is better when it comes to
persuasion. A few choice words, a brief, well-reasoned argument
and a strong close can make the sale. Too much detail, too much
rambling and too much pontification can kill a deal.

When pitching a journalist, the same rules apply, Keep your
pitch short and to the point -- and the results will come.

Unfortunately, many beginning publicity seekers -- and even some
old pros -- forget this advice. Instead of keeping things short,
they seek to overwhelm journalists with multi-page press
releases, extensive backgrounders and lengthy fact sheets. If
they even get read (and most just go directly to the trash) these
voluminous press kits only serve to bury your main argument in a
blizzard of verbiage.

That's why I love pitch letters.

A pitch letter is a brief business letter, almost never longer
than one page. It can accompany a press release, or it can stand
on its own. Pitch letters serve one purpose -- to pique the
journalist's interest in your story. They needn't tell the whole
story. Rather, they are "teasers" for the meat of your story
angle. If you've hooked the journalist with your pitch letter,
you have a real chance of getting the rest of your press
materials read -- and your story placed.

Pitch letters can be sent by snail mail but, increasingly,
they're the perfect tool for e-mail contact. Too many publicity
seekers send entire press releases by e-mail when a few brief
paragraphs would serve their cause far better.

If you're e-mailing a pitch letter to a journalist there are
three rules to follow:

1. Keep it short. Try to limit your pitch to two or three
paragraphs.

2. Never send attachments. In this era of worms and viruses,
that's bad netiquette.

3. Take the time to craft a short, snappy headline. You don't
have to tell your story in the headline -- just make it
intriguing enough for the journalist to click "open", not
"delete"

Whether your sending it on paper or electronically, here's how to
put together a strong pitch letter, step-by-step:

* Start off with your best shot

In the first sentence, try to give the reporter something that
will make him say either "Gee, I never knew that" or "That's an
interesting angle for a story". Or better yet, try to get him to
say both things! Don't mess around with formalities, and don't
bury your angle in hype. Here's an example of a pitch letter we
used to promote "the world's largest game of Pictionary":

Mr. Joe Smith
Features Editor
The Daily Herald
Anytown, OH 44444

Dear Mr. Smith:

On November 19, during halftime of the California- Stanford game,
80,000 people will make history.

They'll be helping to establish a New World Record by
participating in the largest participatory game in history -- a
monumental round of Pictionary, led by the Stanford Marching
Band.

Straight to point and no nonsense. Just the way a reporter wants
it.

Here's another example -- one that fits the "Gee, I didn't know
that" category. It's to promote the national winner of a contest
sponsored by one of our clients:

Dear Mr. Smith:

A miracle has bloomed and is now being harvested in the heart of
the South Bronx.

What used to be a trash-filled vacant lot covered with used
hypodermic needles and crack vials is now a spectacular 2 1/2-
acre working farm. Every day, under the watchful eye of Garden
Director and seasoned gardener Jack O'Connor, dozens of
neighborhood youngsters come to tend their garden plots, sing
songs, hear poetry and learn about nature. Jack has only one rule
of thumb: Before the fun starts, the day's schoolwork must be
completed.

* Target your pitch

Even if you have only one version of a press release, you can
still target your pitch to a particular media outlet by crafting
a specific pitch letter. The purpose of the pitch letter in this
case -- to frame the story in a way that makes it clear to the
journalist that it fits in with that media outlet's approach.

Here's a letter we wrote to The Paul Harvey Show to pitch the
story behind one of our clients, a board game company called The
Games Gang. It resulted in a story on Mr. Harvey's show -- one of
the biggest publicity hits you can get.

Notice that it's written in a structure and style similar to what
you might hear on The Paul Harvey Show. We also played up the
"senior" status of the Games Gang members, as senior citizens
make up a significant portion of their listenership.

Here's the letter:

Mr. John Smith
Producer
"The Paul Harvey Show"
Anytown, OH 44444

Dear John,

In June, 1986, a group of veteran toy sales people (average age:
60) were told there was no more room for them at the company
they'd served for more than 30 years.

They didn't slip quietly into retirement, however. Instead, they
set out to prove the toy industry wrong -- to show that
experience and commonsense are the keys to success.

They've done it.

The company they formed, The Games Gang, has taken the games
industry by storm. They've beaten the odds by creating one of the
most successful games in American history -- Pictionary -- and
following it up with another hit, Balderdash. Today, 10 million
games later, the "Over The Hill Gang" is at the top of the game
heap, having surpassed their larger -- and younger -- rivals.

We think your listeners and readers, especially those who feel as
if their best days are behind them, will find the story of The
Games Gang a real inspiration. We hope you agree.

I'll be in touch soon.

Sincerely,

Bill Stoller


* Show how your story relates to the reporter's audience

Did you catch this line in the Paul Harvey pitch letter?

"We think your listeners and readers, especially those who feel
as if their best days are behind them, will find the story of The
Games Gang a real inspiration."

That's the line that probably put the story over the top. We took
what was essentially a corporate story and demonstrated that it
could have meaning to a wide group of listeners -- even those who
don't play board games or care about entrepreneurs.

Try to find a bigger theme in your story, especially one that
fits with the mission of the media outlet you're pitching.

Pitch letters are wonderful and often underused tools. Just keep
them short, get to the point, try to show how your story can
appeal to a wide audience and, where appropriate, have a little
fun, and you'll be pitching like a pro!

Bill Stoller, the "Publicity Insider", has spent two decades as
one of America's top publicists. Now, through his website, eZine
and subscription newsletter, Free Publicity: The Newsletter for
PR-Hungry Businesses http://www.PublicityInsider.com/freepub.asp,< BR>he's sharing -- for the very first time -- his secrets of scoring
big publicity. For free articles, killer publicity tips and
much, much more, visit Bill's exclusive new site:
http://www.publicityInsider.com/

In The News:

This RSS feed URL is deprecated, please update. New URLs can be found in the footers at https://news.google.com/news

PR Newswire (press release)

This Is a Test From PR Newswire
PR Newswire (press release)
CLEVELAND, Feb. 19, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- This Is a Test From PR Newswire.

and more »

The Holmes Report

Podcast: Omnicom PR Group CEO Karen Van Bergen
The Holmes Report
Two years since taking on the top PR job at Omnicom, van Bergen joins the Echo Chamber to discuss agency performance, ideal CEO characteristics and more. AddThis Sharing Buttons. Share to Facebook Share to Twitter Share to LinkedIn Share to WhatsApp ...


KRQE News 13

PR firm shows off ART bus 'arrival' hours after delivery
KRQE News 13
It's the latest PR move in the face of criticism over the project. In January, Mayor Tim Keller listed off problems with the ART construction and the buses, calling the project “a bit of a lemon.” BYD responded with a new conference, promising to work ...

and more »

O'Dwyer's PR News

News of PR Firms
O'Dwyer's PR News
Wilson Hartnell, Ireland's largest PR firm, has named Sharon Murphy chief executive, effective April 2. Murphy succeeds Brian Bell who is stepping down after more than a decade in the position to become non-Executive Chairman of WHs' parent company ...
Murphy new CEO at Wilson HartnellIndependent.ie

all 2 news articles »

Independent.ie

Nama PR firm reports 'positive momentum'
Independent.ie
A Dublin PR firm that handles a number of key State agency contracts has said its positive momentum from a number of significant client wins had continued. A spokesman for Gordon MRM was commenting on new accounts filed by its Media Relations and ...


Bitcoin News (press release)

PR: Last Chance to Join Cash Tracker DineroONE Token Presale, a ...
Bitcoin News (press release)
{DineroONE} start-up already raised €1 million in funding from private Investors for their innovative all-in-one pay-everywhere solution, even before their Token Presale. A prospective company from Croatia aims to modernize the existing payment methods ...

and more »

Daily Mail

Settling in to the family? PR queen Roxy Jacenko and kids...
Daily Mail
Made to feel comfortable during her stay, Roxy has been treated to bespoke floral arrangements by Matthew Landers, a fine-dining experience including a flaming dish at Nobu, as well as a custom personal training kit. The mother-of-two has certainly ...

and more »

Irish Times

Wilson Hartnell PR appoints Sharon Murphy as chief executive
Irish Times
Ms Murphy said the world of communications was “evolving at an incredible pace”, which had seen public relations agencies develop “agile business models” that embraced opportunities. “I look forward to leading our future development,” she said. The ...

and more »

Daily Mail

'Last rays in PR': Joan Smalls soaks up the sun as she enjoys a vacation in her home country of Puerto Rico
Daily Mail
'Last rays in PR': Joan Smalls soaks up the sun as she enjoys a vacation in her home country of Puerto Rico. By Dailymail.com Reporter. Published: 21:42 EST, 18 February 2018 | Updated: 21:42 EST, 18 February 2018. e-mail. View comments. She is a ...


Alabama NewsCenter

University of Alabama PR students work to help 11 nonprofits through CreateAthon
Alabama NewsCenter
Over 24 hours this past weekend, the University of Alabama's student-run communication firm, Capstone Agency, put its collective, creative juices on a crash course to support 11 Tuscaloosa and Birmingham nonprofits. During the 24-hour marathon ...

Google News

5 Critical Tests Every Press Release Must Pass

You've heard "them" say it, haven't you?By "them" I mean... Read More

Press Releases: Not Dead, Just Evolved

Mark Twain once said the rumors of his death had... Read More

The Press Pack Is Chasing You - Give Them Room

There's good news for public relations execs, marketing professionals and... Read More

Right PR Empowers a Manager

Business, non-profit and association managers are in a stronger position... Read More

Financial Planner Marketing - Problems Are Good (For Financial Planners Seeking Free Publicity)

A common complaint you'll hear is that the media is... Read More

10 Tips for Tantalizing News Releases

Want to get radio interviews and coverage in print publications... Read More

Can Your PR Game Plan be Salvaged?

If, as is often the case, you are preoccupied with... Read More

Do You Really Need PR?

The right kind of PR, that is, the kind that... Read More

A Managers PR Paradigm

If you manage a department, division or subsidiary for a... Read More

Forget The Story Youre Promoting ? Heres What Journalists Really Want From PR People

Although it seems less common these days, there are still... Read More

How to Get a Story About You or Your Business in USA Today

I am often asked by clients to target USA Today... Read More

Financial Planners, Make Sure Reporters Comprehend Your Topic

Don't assume that a reporter understands financial planning. If anything,... Read More

3 Reasons to Tap into the Power of Publicity

Publicity is obtaining editorial coverage or features for your business.... Read More

Whats Your Op-Ed?

Everyone has an opinion on something, and you can leverage... Read More

7 Tips to Get More Mileage Out of Your Online or Offline Publicity

You worked hard to get a story on your business... Read More

PR Works! 15 Ways To Make Your Press Release Stand Out From the Crowd

Do editors of newspapers, magazines and online news sites really... Read More

The Role Of Public Relations In Branding

Because PR can be difficult to control, it is often... Read More

Monarch Health Sciences starts shipping long awaited Monavie and Monavie Active

The Acai Berry is starting to gain world wide recognition... Read More

PR: Advice You Didnt Ask For

Although, as a business, non-profit or association manager, you may... Read More

Are You Newsworthy?

Non-news professionals often have a hard time understanding why their... Read More

Financial Planners, Follow These Guidelines to Get Free Publicity

Be a ResourceThe media people that are likely to want... Read More

Knowing the Community

You are in business for yourself, but how well do... Read More

The Feeding Tube for Your Business

There are a lot of things that make a business... Read More

Credibility Lost or Gained, Are you Prepared?

If a reporter approached you about an interview, would you... Read More

Public Relations Productivity

Should it be measured in "publicity by the pound," or... Read More