Using social media to improve pitches
At my internship, I’ve already gained a lot of insight and experience to pitching stories to different types of journalists and media sources. Included in this has been creating media lists for certain pitches and releases. Amber Mac, a contributor to Fast Company, recently shared how Social Media Makes Bad Pitches Go Viral — and Can Save PR from Itself.
Her biggest gripe was that the majority of her pitches were boring,, generic or just sent to her inaccurately. Mac suggests the use of good old social media “stalking” to find the right authors and journalists to pitch the story (aka the more work in tailoring the pitch letter to the author, the more likely a media hit will result). Her second piece of advice is to consider a social pitch. This would entail tweeting a quick intro pitch on Twitter as a method of reaching out. The company gave a few examples of success stories of posting a video pitch that stood out and caught the journalist’s eye. Mac finally suggests to nix the mass send to journalists that is generic and impersonal. If you don’t take the time for the journalist, why will they take the time for you?
I’m happy to say that even as an intern, I have been following all these suggestions. And since they are suggestions from a journalist who deals with this on a regular basis, I understand better why some of my pitches and media lists have already garnered some national interest by journalists! Obviously dead end pitches can be discouraging and not everything has an angle that is newsworthy enough to pitch. But that one of two hits out of all the work makes it worth it and continues to the cycle.
It was interesting to explain this “exciting news” to some friends who aren’t in the world are of “comm” and did not realize that a majority of articles published are from pitches and releases. To her, it seemed like work with no gratification, but for us in PR, a happy client is all the gratification one needs!