Pitch Comes Before Release

In the world of public relations, press releases are one of the most common ways to communicate news to media. Press releases are normally written and directed to various media outlets, including newspapers, television and online—now the most popular of them all.

The purpose of a release is to inform the public of a noteworthy item, such as an event, product, service or client. However, just because a release is sent to a member of the media does not necessarily mean it will be seen by the general public.

It is important to remember that before a great release there should always be a great pitch. Consider your press release a gift, and the pitch is the wrapping. The release is meant for a specific person or written for a certain reason, but the pitch is what attracts someone to open the present.

The pitch should contain several elements worthy of catching the reader’s attention. Amber Naslund, director of community for Radian6, discusses what catches her interest when reading a pitch. Although Naslund is focuses more on social media pitches, these tips can apply to pitches for all media.

First, get to the point. A brief review of what the release focuses on and some crucial details is enough. Less is always more.

Second, be real. It is important to be relatable when contacting media, especially if you have never met them or have had minimal contact with them.

Next, stay on-point. This goes back to tip one—be specific about what you are saying and what you want from the media.

Tip four: What you are pitching must be relevant. This applies to the person to whom you are sending the release, not to you as the sender. If it does not relate in some way to them or to their publication, it is going to go unnoticed.

Finally, make sure the pitch is interesting! It must be something that the audience wants to know about and that they will be thankful someone informed them of. Pitch to those who are related to or work in a field similar to what you are trying to publicize.

There are newsworthy events and ideas everyday. The job of public relations professionals is to make sure people know about them. Write your release, gather your media lists and use the tips above to ensure your pitch attracts the awareness it deserves!

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