At a Publicity Club of New York luncheon, WCBS 880’s Jonathan Clark shared with the crowd of publicists and marketers that when pitching him your client/expert, it’s in everyone’s best interest to pitch the details of what they can speak to ahead of time.
After all, when there is breaking news, checking emails and answering phones is something the reporter or producer can’t really tend to. But what will happen is that he’ll turn to his rolodex and contact the sources already filed away – and this is precisely what Jonathan is talking about.
This isn’t just for breaking news. Recently, an editor at Better Homes & Gardens responded to a pitch two years later for Resound client SummerSkin, looking to get more product information for an upcoming issue. And Bloomberg Businessweek responded after one year to a pitch that resulted in an amazing profile of Resound client SupportPay. (Check it out!)
See what I mean?
TLDR; great pitches don’t die – they get filed. In this age, we want to provide compelling ideas and expert sources to our reporter friends so that when it’s crunch time, they know where to go. So what elements will have reporters filing you away for a future piece?
Clear Brand Description.
Reporters HATE jargon – all this does is cloud what you do behind fancy sounding words that will quickly be passé. Be clear about the company and the solution, product, or idea you provide. The easier it is for a journalist to understand, the better chances they’ll return to you for insights.
Who is the Spokesperson? What Can They Speak to?
If your spokesperson isn’t the CEO, then you need to be clear about who can speak to the media, along with title, a link to the LinkedIn profile, and short, concise bullets about the subject at hand. These keywords will come into play when reporters search their inbox looking for sources.
How Can They Be Reached?
This sounds obvious – but this small step can be completely overlooked. Sure, email is great (and let’s face it, we’re on it all hours of the day), but when reporters are on urgent deadlines, phones can be faster. Include a number to reach you afterhours, and reiterate that they can bug you at any time – after all, media opportunities are what we live for!
By integrating these ideas into your current outreach, you’re setting yourself up for long-term success by becoming a resource to the media. Remember: succinct pitches that don’t beat around the bush are winners – amplify them by noting what else your experts can offer.