THE TYPE BAR
Have you ever drafted the perfect pitch for the ideal top-tier journalist and never received a response or began the dialogue only for the conversation to drop off and not land? We have all been there. Pitching efforts to top-tier publications can often feel like they come to no avail. It makes you wonder what more you could be doing to make these pitches stick. Luckily we are here to help. We brought this problem to a few of our favorite PR pros to answer how they get that coveted top-tier coverage.
According to some of the PR industry’s tech publicists, landing top-tier coverage is all about relationships, clarity, and an interesting angle to set your brand apart. Check out some tips from successful PR pros below:
Find an interesting way to grab journalists’ attention
According to Tawanda Carlton of Media Frenzy Global, “Finding an interesting way to grab their attention and following up have proven most beneficial in helping to land my clients in top tier publications and media outlets. Journalists are inundated with thousands of emails each day so learning how to stand out is key. I once researched a journalist whose favorite team was the Atlanta Falcons. His twitter handle was the Falcons losing score from the SuperBowl. So, I put that in the headline of my email. It got his attention and eventually coverage for my client.
Learning the best angle in which to approach a journalist (story idea, follow a story, sheer creativity, etc.) and follow up are key tools in a PR professionals toolkit. Hone your skills in this area, and you will start to not only see more traction but cultivate relationships with media professionals. These relationships are vital to your success so approach with intention and care.”
Tawanda Carlton is an Account Executive at Media Frenzy Global, a PR and communications firm based in Atlanta, Georgia. This former news producer turned PR specialist uses her insight and awareness to deeper connect with contacts to make intimate pitches that yield results.
Make your “Why” important and profound
Christian Maria Fischer of Pressebüro Fischer finds success by making the innovations of the brand he is representing clear, important, and newsworthy.
He says, “The most important thing is that the company/startup can clearly differentiate its innovations from other startups/innovations in one sentence and prove the importance of its innovations for the world/target groups with figures from independent sources. Rather, I have tips from Germany.
Someone who can’t explain his idea to his grandmother in 10 seconds will get a problem if he wants to be in the lead media. Keep it simple and short is an ancient rule that still applies. You also need to be able to prove why innovation is important to the world. Figures and studies from independent and recognized sources (for example, government agencies) are very helpful.”
- With twenty years of freelance PR consulting under his belt, Christian Maria Fischer specializes in landing coverage in areas of startups, IT, tech and consumer goods. He has even published his own book titled, 1000 PR Ideas to Win Customers and Journalists for Your Company.
Make your story newsworthy and relevant for the journalist
Lilian Raji of The Lilian Raji Agency explains how she used this to her advantage to make the story beneficial for the journalist she was pitching. She advises, “Think about your client’s products or services abstractly. One of the four full-page with pictures NYT placements I landed for a client was with Paul Sullivan, who writes Wealth Matters for NYT where he advises high net worth individuals on ways to invest their money. My client was a high-end watch retailer who had just launched an app that tracked the selling price of high-end watches over a 24 month period. I’d interviewed almost all the senior people on the client’s team and was told about customers who were buying and selling watches like commodities.
I discovered there was a relatively unknown club of watch collectors who buy and hold watches for this purpose. I pitched Paul Sullivan on the idea that HNWI could buy and enjoy their watches now, hold on to them, then sell them in the future for a profit, ensuring, of course, that they knew which watches hold their value, which is what the client’s app was good for. Paul loved the idea and sent photographers to my client’s office to complete the full page article with pictures. This happened because I made an effort to deeply understand my client’s business and found a way to tie in what they’re doing to what a journalist was covering.”
Lilian Raji has a nearly two-decade track record of public relations and strategic consulting for some of the world’s leading luxury brands. When she is not helping brands hit the spotlight, Lilian does freelance writing through “Dear Lilian: The PR Advisor,” a monthly PR Advice column for National Jeweler Magazine.
Whether you are trying to secure a top-tier placement or working to perfect your pitch, our downloadable 1000 Pitches Analysis, in culmination with our FREE pitch cheat sheet on new product launches, will help guide your pitches to find success.
In the meantime, check out 1000 Pitches: Most Popular Tech Topics to check out what successful pitches had in common, what the most popular topics of 2019 were, and a few tips to keep in mind when pitching next!