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We get it. A PR pitch can be very frustrating. You spend days crafting the right details and deciding who to send it to. And after all that work, you’re still not sure whether journalists would even respond.
The fact is, journalists receive several pitches every day, and not to mention the various other requests such as press releases. One study even estimated that they often have more than 300 emails waiting for them each morning.
It’s understandable that they need to pick and choose the ones they think are worth it.
Fortunately, there are a number of ways to improve your odds of a response. A key consideration is finding the right journalist for your PR pitch.
After all, if you send a software story to a culture writer, or news on business performance to a sports reporter, what are the chances that they’ll respond? Zero.
In addition to finding the right journalist, there are several other tactics for pitching the media. Click here to view Your Complete Guide to Pitching the Media and learn about how to craft, send, and see return from all of your pitches.
So, how do you go about finding a journalist who’s going to be excited by your PR pitch? To begin with, there are three ways to improve your strike rate.
In a nutshell, these are: to search smarter, to keep your target audience in mind, and to use technology to remove the guesswork.
Let’s explore these, one by one.
Search Local Resources, Online News, & Social Media
While national coverage is what everyone wants, you shouldn’t underestimate the power of local
journalists. They often have a great deal of reach and credibility among residents of specific areas.
You could find names from newsletters and regional publications to add to your media list. If yours is a story/ press release that affects people in a specific area, this is a great way to start. Other times, a simple internet search can be a goldmine. For example, if your PR pitch is about
“rocket science”, typing those words into Google News will show you several similar stories, with bylines. Broader industry-level searches will be useful in coming up with journalists’ names, too.
Almost every journalist is also on Twitter or Facebook, if not both. Searches on these platforms will show you what they’re writing about, as well as their other interests.
A study also shows that 74% of journalists use Twitter to research a story they are working on.
Follow them on social media and comment on their posts, and you’ll have made an invaluable contact for a current as well as a future pitch deck.
Keep Your Audience In Mind
At times, it can be as simple as putting your audience first, and not the journalist.
For example, if you want to pitch an idea that has to do with women’s health, it wouldn’t make sense to approach a journalist from a golfing magazine.
If you’re clear on who your target readers are, you can discover their media consumption habits through data published by several organizations. After that, you can close in on those who write for those websites or magazines.
And because your story will be specifically tailored to their interests, there are good chances of it getting picked up.
Let Technology Remove The Guesswork
By using the latest technology, you can automatically get a clear-cut media list for your pitches, identifying the most relevant journalists. This can dramatically improve your strike rate.
That’s the reasoning behind OnePitch Scores. It uses natural language processing and machine learning to analyze your pitch. It then uses this information to scan thousands of news reports to come up with a perfect fit.
This means that overnight, you can get a PR pitch deck that’s efficient, accurate, and dependable. You can focus on the story and let OnePitch Scores do the rest.
It’s quite a simple process. You start by filling out the template and categorizing industry and story topics. The technology instantly starts to scan data points across top-tier news outlets. You then get a list of journalists best suited to pitch an idea.
As Darcy Cudmore, the founder of Darcy Allen PR, says, this procedure “connects the cool stories to the people who are interested in writing about them.”
And Finally: Relationships Will Get You Everywhere
As a PR professional, you shouldn’t view journalists simply as resources for a media pitch. Building professional relationships is the best way to make sure your stories are noticed.
A thank you note after a story is published can go a long way. As will occasional tips and follow-up emails. These and other professional interactions will lay the foundation of a strong working relationship.
This way, not only would you have found the perfect journalists to write about your pitches, but you’ll also have a way to make the process seamless in the future.
For more tips and techniques on successful pitching, do visit OnePitch. We want to change the way publicists and journalists connect meaningfully and relevantly with one another, and we’d love to tell you more.