The next time you’re reading a newspaper or magazine article, notice how many times the reporter mentions statistics high in the story.
You should do the same when you pitch. That’s because statistics help validate a story.
I found the following statistics in just one section of the Weekend Edition of the Wall Street Journal:
—In November, video game sales were down 18 percent from a year ago.
—A story about designer dogs said that most of the country’s 73 million pet dogs are still purebreds or mutts from the local pound. “Wallace Havens, whose Puppy Haven Kennel outside Madison, Wis. sells 2,500 puppies a year, says requests for $600 designer dogs grew by 10 percent over last year while demand for Puggles (a cross between a Pug and a Beagle), has tripled.”
-l-An article about charitable giving in a year of disasters said charitable giving in the U.S. totaled about $248 billion in 2004, a 5 percent increase over 2003.
-l-An article about the ski season stated that despite a deluge of snow in recent weeks on the East Coast and in the Rockies, the ski-resort industry needs all the help it can get because visitor traffic in the U.S. has grown just 13 percent since the 1981-82 season, according to the National Ski Areas Association.
If you have a pitch, but no statistics, you can get them from a variety of places, including Google searches, trade associations, research papers, and the U.S. Census Bureau.
Using statistics is just one of 19 “rules of the road” for Publicity Hounds, suggested by a panel of journalists that met in New York in October. They included reporters from the Wall Street Journal, Family Circle and NY1, New York’s cable station. The tips are included in the January/February issue of The Publicity Hound subscription newsletter ($10). The issue, available only as a PDF, also includes articles on why you should banish the words publicity and PR from your vocabulary and concentrate instead on storytelling, an example of a pitch from a storyteller, how a PR practitioner can manage client expectations, how to write the perfect author resource box at the end of an article, a book that offers numerous case studies on marketing to Hispanics, how to attend free monthly teleseminars featuring publicity tips, what network news program wants your “good news” stories, how to look like an expert on TV, and January/February story ideas.
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