Isn’t it funny or perhaps, even tragic, that the way we tend to communicate in our marketing is so, deadly dull!?
We play very, VERY safe, lest we upset the delicate balance of “will they like me/loathe me”.
The problem is we actually end up saying very little at all and doing NOTHING to separate ourselves from the hundreds of other emails and missives flying around.
Now, you don’t have to be HILARIOUS and off-the-wall, indeed for many businesses, it would be in pretty poor taste to suddenly lift out the dusty old “Bantersaurus” from the library shelves or to attempt to resurrect the ghost of Spike Milligan in your next tender submission.
However, there is always room for improvement and for differentiation. Especially when it comes to pitching the media.
Now, as you probably know by now, I used to be a business journalist so you’d expect I have the inside track and I can speak “journalese”.
Well, yes but the main thing is, I know how NOT to sound like I’m making a pitch when I’m BLATANTLY making a pitch.
You need to remember, PR is public RELATIONS and the bit when you have to communicate with a dreaded journo is Media RELATIONS.
So, what you need to start to build (and then maintain) is a RELATIONSHIP.
That means give and take.
It means being helpful, being useful, being thoughtful.
It also involves being attractive BUT that doesn’t mean we need to be sending carefully airbrushed selfies. It means finding what works for them, what floats their boats.
Imagine it like internet dating.
You need to start by knowing who you are trying to attract. (Do they influence your market?)
- What are they interested in? (What do they write about?).
- Does that match with you? (Honestly! If you’re NOT what you claim to be in real life, don’t fib).
- How might a “date” with you (useful content) actually help them?
This is the research side of the media dating landscape. I’d highly recommend Twitter for this.
So let’s pretend that you’ve found your perfect match or indeed, matches. Hey, nobody said anything about exclusives yet right?!
How will you pitch them?
You need to stand out and you need to consider what they are looking for.
Let’s go old skool here and back to the Lonely Hearts Club ads of yesteryear.
We need to be adding VALUE so we need to be responding to their needs, not making our marketing moves on them!
Here’s what some might be thinking:
Finance reporter with freelance roles across several national titles seeks reliable expert to explain what the rise in house prices means for mortgage holders.
Must be prompt, not pitchy and able to respond within 48 hours notice to request for a ‘date”, typically after the Halifax pipes up with latest results.
Lifestyle reporter on daily tabloid seeks top tips to help you get into shape for summer. Brevity preferred. Gifts and trials of equipment and training programmes most welcome.
Interiors feature writer on national broadsheet supplement seeks inspiring case studies and trends tips for 2023. Must have visual appeal, no grainy phone snaps taken years ago that no longer look like you say they do.
Do you see how they think?
All you have to do now is to perfect your pitch to them based on what THEY want.
Imagine having the power that Mel Gibson snaffles in “What Women Want”. He is speaking the language that resonates but most importantly of all, he is LISTENING..
The good news is you don’t need a bolt of lightning, you just need to do some groundwork.
I suggest your dating site of choice to start attracting your dream journo is Twitter.