If you’re the President of the United States, you could spill your coffee and make the front page of the New York Times — but for most individuals and organizations, earning media starts with a news pitch.
There are essentially two kinds of pitches: remarkable information that will easily grab headlines and more ordinary information that requires some skill and creativity to make it into news.
A savvy communications professional / team knows the difference and knows how to advise their boss or client on how to proceed when they are seeking press coverage.
That starts with a good understanding of what is truly “newsworthy.”
First and foremost, the information you are releasing needs to create impact and be timely. The biggest newsmakers are often something controversial, brand new or unique — but you can also earn media by simply applying the right kind of effort.
Do Your Homework
Before you pitch, you need to do your homework: know the journalist’s style or the show’s format, understand patterns in news cycles and what time of week/day to pitch.
Pitching your story needs to consider the recipient. If it doesn’t — it’s like trying to sell a minivan to a bachelor… he’s not interested.
If you’re not dishing up a hot exclusive, it’s time to get creative. Great pitches make your information relevant: tying it to current events or adding a human-interest angle.
Gaining earned media to improve your brand is where Public Relations teams come in handy. Seasoned professionals, like those at Mach 1, have spent their careers working with and studying journalists’ styles and tactics; they deeply understand what angles work and don’t and how to adapt information to catch the eye of a reporter. Without this, you’re probably just throwing spaghetti at the wall… hoping it sticks.