3 Skills You Need to Always Be Pitching in PR
Last week, as part of LPP’s Peer Training workshops, where LPPers share their expertise and best practice with each other, we focused on Proactive Pitching. My colleagues and I broke down proactive pitching into three worthwhile skills, Monitoring Media, Critical Thinking, and of course… Pitching! I thought there were some great reminders and tips in the workshop that were worth sharing.
- Press lists are ALWAYS out of date. Reporters are covering new beats, and beats are changing on a regular basis - and that goes double in the tech industry
- RSS readers like Feedly and Pulse (owned by LinkedIn), as well as Twitter lists, are great for catching relevant news efficiently
- Set up Google Alerts on the topics you follow, and remember to refine these as you go along and learn what search terms bring up the best results to help you stay proactive
- Nothing beats manually monitoring relevant publications
- Read, Read, and Read
You can’t be proactive, unless you really understand what’s going on. This skill can seem simple in concept, but in practice it’s a whole other ball game. Strong skills in media monitoring will prepare you to reach out to reporters with relevant, timely information, and impress coworkers in team meetings.
- Is there a key problem that’s not being discussed?
- Is there another viewpoint not be represented?
- Did the reporter mention something in passing that could merit its own story?
- Am I reading? Like, really reading?
- How did our competitor land that article we’ve been working on for weeks?
Critical thinking is half the job description when it comes to PR. It helps to be up to date, but without the critical thinking skills of how you can insert your clients into relevant stories, it’s pointless. Critical thinking will help you spot the rabbit holes in a reporter’s piece that you need to place a strong piece.
- Write the pitch
- Tailor the pitch to your target and what matters and interests them on behalf of their readers
- Pitch a reporter that you think missed a topic or trends within a recent piece
- Once you’ve established a relationship with a reporter, ask them what they’re working on and how you can help
This is the moment all of your work has prepared you for. You’re up to date on all the latest industry news, you’ve spotted an angle you know is cool and informative, you’ve tailored the story to fit your target and your subject line is click-worthy. It’s time to hit send.
I think I speak for all my peers when I say it was great to spend an hour sharing ideas and best practices in this Peer Training workshop. I hope the tips I captured will help strengthen your skills as much as the workshop strengthened mine.