Press Release Tip 86
Write customized pitches
When your press release has been written, don’t assume it’s going to result in a mountain of media attention. It probably isn’t.
That’s why you need to send customized pitches to reporters, editors, TV producers, radio talk show hosts, ezine editors, bloggers and others, even if you’ve paid for distribution through one of the press release services.
You’ve heard me say throughout this course that the media want a customized pitch that appeals to their audiences—not necessarily a one-size-fits-all press release that can be picked up by hundreds of other media. It’s the pitch that usually gets you a story. It’s a press release that helps reporters write it.
Here’s an example of how you can create customized pitches. Let’s say you’re a not-for-profit and you’re sponsoring a black-tie fund-raiser for the local domestic abuse shelter.
- Pitch a story to your local women’s magazine about the fund-raiser, and offer interviews with women who have used the shelter, as long as the women are not identified.
- Pitch a story to a local food blogger about the five-course meal that will be served at the event, along with recipes from the chef.
- Offer your local weekly newspaper interviews with several of the volunteers who are working behind the scenes to make the event a success—people who live in the towns the newspaper covers.
In each instance, those media would use the press release to learn the essential facts. But each media outlet would also have its own version of the story. In Press Release Tip #49, you learned how publicist Kathi Petersen used nine different angles to write nine different press releases about the same event. But you don’t have to do that much work. You can write three customized pitches and, in each email pitch you send, link to the identical press release.
I show you how pitch in my training program “A Simple 5-Part Formula for Delivering the Perfect Media Pitch and Hitting It Out of the Park.” The bonus package includes 27 angles for stories, and an example of a pitch that’s customized for three different media outlets so you can see exactly how I’ve changed it, and understand why. You’ll also get a list of “10 Magic Phrases the Media LOVE.” Order here.
Opportunity #86 to write a press release: A White Paper you’ve written
White Papers give you a chance to do research on a topic of interest to your target audience, then offer the report at your website where it can be downloaded either for free or in exchange for a name and email address. A White Paper can also feature a client success story.
After you’ve written a White Paper, don’t just send it to journalists, bloggers and others who you think would be interested.it’s best to first write a press release about it, list the major findings, then provide a link where people can download the White Paper.
Next: Follow up.