Today, on Coffee with a Journalist, we sit down with Erika Wheless of Digiday. At…
Journalists who write about business-to-consumer (B2C) stories have an important role. They are tasked with the job of informing consumers about the products, news, and stories by businesses that impact their everyday lives. In addition, PR professionals with B2C clients hold great responsibility and opportunity in mediating this communication. On our Coffee with a Journalist podcast, we speak with various journalists about their work, their relationship with pitches, and how they craft stories.
Here are what three journalists from CNET, PopSugar, and CNN Underscored had to say about pitches for B2C pieces.
Most PR professionals are working on behalf of a company or business to put their news in front of the eyes of prospective consumers. In addition to landing coverage, one notable part of pitching as a PR pro is becoming a source of information that journalists can go to. During her conversation on Coffee with a Journalist, Macy Cate Williams, Senior Editor of PopSugar told us:
Being a shopping editor, I feel those PR relationships are some of the most important relationships I have in editorial.”
She continued explaining how being a reliable source for a journalist can not only land you coverage but also set you apart when pitching future stories.
Macy notes, “if they’re going to give me some really good intel about something before it drops, if they work with great brands that I trust, I’ve definitely developed some great relationships over the years, and those are the PR people that I’m keeping an eye out for.”
As you being to develop relationships with journalists at various outlets, being able to make their job easier is always a great move. Jacob Krol, tech and electronics editor at CNN Underscored, notes in his podcast conversation that he appreciates when pitches make their needs clear from the start. He says:
“I think the biggest thing for me is that it’s on point. If it’s like a deadline-sensitive thing or if it’s an embargo to make that clear and then to spell my name right.”
Jacob also notes that it is key to understand the outlet you are pitching and its unique perspective. He elaborates, “Make sure you know the organization.” Though Jacob is a tech and electronic editor, the stories he produces differ in goals from those of another journalist you were to pitch from other tech outlets like TechCrunch or Digital Trends.
Know WHAT to Pitch
Lastly, speaking of other tech outlets, we sat down with David Carnoy, executive editor at CNET. He echoes Jacobs’s comments when telling us that his coverage is “more geared towards facilitating commerce” rather than simply reporting on tech industry news.
Additionally, David explains how it is essential for PR pros to understand the content the journalist creates so that it aligns with their current editorial calendar. He says:
“I don’t do as much rewriting press releases and saying a product has been announced. I’d rather have some hands-on with it and be able to say something about that.”
Though it may feel more effective to craft a general pitch about your business’s news, remember that the quality of a pitch is what makes one standout from a flooded inbox. By maintaining relationships, communicating deadlines, and knowing what content to pitch, you will be able to better land those notable pieces of coverage.
In addition to relationships, deadlines, and content, one thing all three of these journalists highlighted as one of the biggest ways to exhibit that your pitch is worth reading is to show that you have done the research to craft a pitch geared specifically for that journalist’s audience. Read more on how to accomplish that in our article, 5 Elements Every Media Pitch Should Include. Also, don’t forget to follow us on Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn to get our latest updates on all upcoming PR blogs, resources, and more.