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The Foundation of Everything.

This week’s pitch lesson is short and simple. Research and target your journalist. The best pitch in the world will be deleted (or just never be opened) if you don’t send it to a reporter who actually cares about and covers the topics you’re pitching. It’s so simple, but it’s the basic foundation for effective PR and media relations. Blasting your not-customized pitch to hundreds of reporters at once isn’t usually the best approach. That so-called “spray and pray” method can actually have a place in a strategic outreach campaign, something I work with clients to understand how to leverage to make effective, but on it’s on can be nearly or completely ineffective.

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Here’s your exclusive sneek peek into my “pitch perfect” inbox with my favorite pitch this week:

Hi Mary,

PR industry leader, Annie Jennings has written the below article on the three new ways to succeed with publicity entitled “The All New PR Mindset,” ready for you to post or publish at just over 800 words.

The All New PR Mindset, By Annie Jennings

As everyone embraces the power of publicity, industry leader Annie Jennings, founder of the National Firm, Annie Jennings PR, shares the new way to think of publicity and avoid the many pitfalls that stand in your way. With so many people selling services without a track record of success for their clients, you have to protect yourself and ask the right questions.

“What’s in it for me?”

This is the first question you should be asking about your publicity strategy. And the first of a new, three-headed PR mindset for success. The other two, understanding the power of being socially relevant and thinking of your media bookings as assets to be leveraged over the long haul, come into play as you start building your ascent to the top.

To be sure you are aligned with the right approach to your publicity that will elevate your credibility, exposure and business, you must ask “what’s in it for me?” This question is designed to make sure you are buying deliverables. That is, secured PR media placements that actually occur and are designed to propel your personal and business growth forward. Asking this question makes sure you are working with a publicist who specializes in your particular growth area and can answer the question as it pertains to your goals.

This one piece of advice is precious. Asking this question will help you avoid wasting your money and instead leads to you investing your money in a targeted media strategy with specific outcomes in mind that serve to advance your level of achievement and standing in your industry. When you simply spend your marketing money without a plan that supports outcomes, once you buy the service, the money is gone.

However, when you know “what’s in it for you” and invest accordingly, you can expect to get a return on your investment. Now this is how a great PR firm works. They’re always asking the question “what is in it for my client?”

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It’s go time

Once you have your PR strategy in place, it’s time to go after the media placements. It’s time to decide how you, your message, your book and/or area of expertise relates to society today.

Many people will try to force a topic through to the media. This is a mistake. It is so much better to go with the media flow (that is, the issues of the day) than try to push a concept or conversation that has no social relevance at the time.

Define what it is you want to say and understand where you fit into the national conversation on topics within your areas of expertise. When you can address an issue people are talking about right now and are qualified to discuss it, the bookers can say YES to you.

That’s what we call the triple win. The show keeps its listeners or viewers glued to the program, the audience is fascinated and the guest (YOU) is very happy as you got a chance to share your message, promote yourself and live your book out loud. You also get a strong media asset that you can leverage into more opportunity.

Collecting assets

Accumulating these bookings as assets allows you to keep them working for you for years to come, giving you a competitive edge. The final part of the all new PR strategy for success focuses on incorporating the big brand names into your marketing outreach.

Consultants, speakers and authors have said that major national media is a critical component in a greater business and marketing strategy. It enhances growth and allows you to realize a potential that in many cases, you would not have been able to reach without that publicity. Becoming a regular contributor to a highly respected news outlet, for example. Or perhaps being the consultant hired for big money contracts with prestigious organizations that enhance your image. With this scaled up reputation you may be able to name your price when it comes to speaking engagements. What happens in the all new PR mindset, is that over time, you become the prize. You are now the one being pursued.

This is why investing in publicity assets offers a tremendous advantage over just plunking down money on any old publicity plan hoping for a miracle outcome.

There are no miracle outcomes. There is just a careful planning of a PR strategy that is implemented accordingly. The plan should be specifically designed for your intended objectives. What do you want to achieve? Do you want to be regular or do you want to be great? Do you want to be the envy of your industry and call the shots? It’s all possible. Consistency over time following a PR strategy that has been tailored to your goals and dreams is the secret.

Optimal success is the result of an investment in yourself and again, not just careless spending with no advance knowledge of the outcome.

That’s why you always have to ask “What’s in it for me?”

~ Annie Jennings

Why this pitch stands out

As a writer for Entrepreneur and Huffington Post, I’m often invited to guest post and blog or speak about the latest trends and strategy in the publicity industry.

I was recently honored with an award to be inducted in to the league of “Top Women in PR,” and I often receive requests from potential clients I’m simply too booked to take on at the time.

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As a PR industry leader, collaborating with other industry leaders is important and beneficial because it can lead to business opportunities and referral partnerships. Doing research on what a journalist is writing about and what they care about is essential if you’re going to cut through the noise and get their attention.

Collaborations can be mutually beneficial but ultimately, in addition to being targeted, this pitch did one other important thing I’ll address in next week’s post. It made my job easy. Annie Jennings’ article on the three new ways to succeed with publicity entitled “The All New PR Mindset,” was sent to me with express permission to post or publish, not only targeting a topic I’m interested in covering, but also making it easy to share even more valuable content about PR and pitching yourself from another PR Pro.

The article is filled with relevant content fully edited and ready to post. Reporters are incredibly busy managing an impossible array of tasks often on even more impossible deadlines. Making a reporter’s job EASY is another simple tactic that can go far to getting media coverage – something I’ll cover in next week’s pitch perfect email.

Until next time,

Be Disruptive.

Shape The Conversation.

Leverage Your Voice.

Xo, Mary

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