Pitching & Media Relations 101

By Kristina Negas, Account Executive

As a former reporter, I’ve been on both sides of the news spectrum. Now in the PR world, I have made it a habit to look at my clients’ news from a journalist’s perspective prior to pitching. Sure, a new product announcement, for example, may seem like exciting, earth-shattering news in the client’s eyes, but to many reporters, it may simply be the latest addition to their Outlook recycle bin.

Whether you are sending a press release to a local newspaper, or proposing an idea for a thought leadership piece to a trade magazine, here are a few tips to boost your appeal to the media and land your next big placement:

Look at the Big Picture: Tie your pitch in with a current event, a telling statistic or growing industry trend. Indicate how your client’s news relates to a hot-button issue or how it will affect readers. Point the reporter to the underlying story at hand, rather than saying, “Here’s my company’s news, now write about it.” This tactic will also prevent your pitch from coming across as overly self-promotional and advertorial – a major turn off!

Keep it Simple: Reporters are extremely busy and are constantly under pressure to meet deadlines. Therefore, it’s important to keep your pitch simple and make sure it is straightforward and to the point. There is no time in the newsroom for reading paragraphs upon paragraphs about the latest upgrades to your client’s current software application. Also, your pitch should have a strong lead and enticing subject line—you want to grab the reporter’s attention right off the bat.

Be Considerate: Again, reporters are busy. It’s OK to follow up with them a couple times to gauge their interest in your story (there’s always the possibility that your pitch landed in their spam folder), but be careful not to become a pest. When corresponding with reporters, always be courteous, even if you get a snippy response. And, “no” really does mean “no” – if the reporter is obviously not interested, move on and pitch your story elsewhere before it becomes old news.

Do Your Research: Before pitching, research your targeted media outlet and identify the reporter or editor who covers the appropriate beat. Once you pinpoint your target, look back at previously written articles to ensure your topic is relevant, and get a feel for the types of articles the reporter writes. By taking the time to do a little digging, you can better customize your pitches and avoid the dreaded mass email blasts.

By following these guidelines to pitch insightful, newsworthy stories, you’ll be well on your way to achieving high-quality media coverage. And, as a bonus, these guidelines can help you establish lasting relationships with editors and reporters – they will learn to rely on you as a credible source of information, and keep coming back for more.

What People Are Saying

At Linortek, we specialize in designing and manufacturing controllers for the Internet of Things, a market involving connecting all type of equipment and devices to the Internet. We made the decision to partner with DPR Group because of the company’s proven track record of securing greater market visibility in the high-tech and manufacturing arenas. In addition, the DPR Group team is flexible enough to adapt their ongoing strategies and programs to help us meet our evolving needs and goals.

Liyu Nalven, Vice President

DPR has been an asset to Barcoding’s marketing department since 2010. Through their expert writing, advice, and connections, we’ve secured local and national media coverage, leveraged the power of search engine optimization (SEO) with a strategy of inbound content marketing, and strengthened our brand’s reputation as a leading systems integrator.

Jody Costa

DPR Group’s extensive knowledge and experience in PR and marketing have elevated the Cetrom brand, increased awareness of our services across the industry, and secured numerous award wins and media placements. We value the partnership that has developed and DPR’s contribution to our overall success.

Christopher Stark, President and CEO
Cetrom Information Technology, Inc.

DPR Group really understands our industry and the unique role InfinityQS plays in it. They provide both strategic guidance and tactical execution to deliver coverage in key trade publications and exposure with industry analysts and third-party influencers. The team is flexible and always willing to roll up their sleeves to assist us in a wide range of marketing activities beyond our traditional public relations initiatives. DPR Group is more than a vendor. They are a true, trusted and valued partner.

Greg Matranga

The key factor for Cimcorp when choosing a PR firm was finding representation that could create well-written, persuasive content and elevate brand recognition for the company in our industry. DPR exceeds our expectations and helps us beyond content creation. They have become a reliable resource for many of our global marketing initiatives.

Lori Vaughan, Marketing Communications Manager
Cimcorp North America

DPR Group has provided valuable public relations insight and helped us increase our marketplace visibility on a local and national level. Our partnership has enabled us to focus on growing our client base, while expanding our messaging and showcasing our unique services.

Kim Cubine

In less than six months, DPR Group has helped Protech develop and launch a new website and successfully introduce Protech Cloud Business Solutions to the market. We truly value the expertise and services that the DPR Group team brings to the table and look forward to a long, successful relationship together.

Brian Bruffey

DPR Group is a trusted adviser to both Quality Associates, Inc. and DocPoint Solutions. DPR’s wide range of PR services ensures that our most important news is what our industry views first.

Scott Swidersky
Quality Associates, Inc.

Since 2007, DPR Group has been a trusted business partner providing expert public relations and marketing advice. DPR Group has secured tremendous positive media coverage for our firm, bringing visibility to our software and assisting our sales.

Felix Pekar

DPR Group has achieved results for DirectMail.com that have far exceeded our initial expectations. We look forward to a long-term relationship with DPR Group as an integral part of our corporate growth goals.

Robert Salta

At this point in time, Hermes has a well-established brand throughout Europe, but the company does not have the same level of name recognition in North America. So we decided to partner with DPR Group to let U.S. retailers know about the full range of e-commerce services Hermes offers for e-businesses and international expansion. DPR Group did a fantastic job for Hermes at the Internet Retailer Conference and Exhibition (IRCE), promoting attendance at our sessions and scheduling media interviews before and after. We’ve never had as much press coverage at any U.S. event before. I highly recommend DPR Group to foreign companies seeking to launch their products and services in U.S. markets.

Uwe Bald

DPR Group’s PR campaigns have helped us increase the visibility of U-TECK’s products for the utility, telecom and construction industries, especially our WeedEnder® vegetation control mattings. Since working with DPR, we have noticed 30% and 50% increases in traffic to our U-TECK and WeedEnder websites, respectively.

Nan Jackson

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