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Top 5 Mistakes Business Owners Make When Pitching To The Press! [and the Success Tips!]

I always feel the best way to learn is by doing.
An example: my 11 year old son has been teaching me how to do Instagram stories. I have to literally shove off his hovering finger and say – let me do it else I won’t be able to learn!
So he patiently talks me slowly through the steps of adding a hashtag, location, emojis and now most recently a poll feature!
He is so fast with his fingers that it feels like superfastmotion when he was originally teaching me which therefore led me to retain hardly any of his teaching!
Which brings me to talk about why it’s so important to have a go at doing your own PR…
I bet you’re having a really good go at doing your own social media. Aren’t we all?
But don’t you ever feel you are competing with so much social media noise that you just aren’t getting your message heard?
Do you have a message that you would like to share with millions? I can help you do that.
First up, I would like to give you the:
Top 5 Mistakes Business Owners Make When Pitching To The Press! [and the Success Tips!]
You can then go off and pitch to the press and NOT make these mistakes so you stand a MUCH bigger chance of being spotted or listened to!
Mistake No 1
Not doing your ‘due-dill’ ie not researching your target publication. If you do a ‘blind pitch’ you will get nowhere. I was at an event recently hosted by Cosmopolitan Magazine’s Associate Editor, Amy Grier and she said her biggest bug bear when it came to people submitting story ideas or pitches as that they haven’t even picked up a copy of the magazine!
The pitches that are read are the ones that show clearly that the ‘pitcher’ has done their ‘due-dill’ and knows just where their suggested piece could fit really well into.
Success Tip No 1
TUNE IN. Get to know the outlet inside out! It pays to tune in!
Mistake No 2
Going in COLD. Before you pitch to your dream journalist, don’t be like everyone else out there and fire off a ‘hope and a prayer’ pitch without having got onto the journalist’s radar. If you are yet another person pitching out of the blue with no relationship whatsoever to do with the journalist, you are very likely to be ignored.
Success Tip No 2
Research your dream journo on Twitter, LinkedIn, CrystalKnows, Instagram – wherever they have a social presence, get onto their radars by liking their posts, retweeting, hearting…..generally getting onto their radar so they will feel more ingratiated towards you. You may also have sent them helpful links or intros to contacts they may have been doing call outs for.
Often the journos won’t have millions of followers on their social media accounts, so you should be able to make some sort of impact over time.
Mistake No 3
Writing huge essays about your business.
Remember, journalists are so stretched for time that they do not want to wade thought a long essay introduction about how amazing your company is. I have been sent in pitch emails to review as the business owners are disappointed at lack of response from the target and I see the same pattern. Long emails with hardly any paragraph breaks.
Success Tip No 3
Think about your time being precious, think about your influencer’s time being even more precious. Keep your email short and sweet and try to keep all your points ‘above the fold’.
Mistake No 4
Not being newsworthy or having no angle at all. Whilst we all eat, breathe and sleep our own companies and think that we should all be in the press all of the time, you may have made the mistake of pitching your story to the press when it was not at all the right angle or time for you to do so.
News is NEWS as it is happening on a rolling basis. Is the reason you want to pitch to the press to make an announcement? Are you reacting to something very topical in the press where you can be an expert spokesperson or are you wanting a profile piece?
Think about the time of year you are pitching. If it is to be newsworthy – can you ‘peg’ your story to an event in your industry to make it relevant.
Success Tip No 4
Plan ahead. My 2017 PR Planner is a good resource to see the events going on. Try to be creative with events, they don’t have to be precisely in your industry, think outside of the box…
Mistake No 5
OVERWHELM. Don’t think you need to pitch to 20 magazines in one week or even one month. Break down your goals and aim for just 2 or 3 magazines or outlets to target each month. In this way, you will ‘forensically’ get to know each publication and be so knowledgeable about it that it should be a breeze to pitch.
Well at least you will have done the work that everyone needs to do before even considering picking up the phone to the editor or emailing them.
Success Tip No 5
Plan your PR Plan of Action in bitesize chunks.
I have limited space next week for just a few complimentary 10 minute PR Calls. On the call, we can discuss your idea to pitch to the press or we can look for your ‘Press Hook’ or we can come up with a headline that journalists will pay attention to.
Whatever we discuss in those 10 minutes, it will be all about YOU and YOUR business and how to get it visible.
Here is your booking link so you can have your 10 min PR Call:
I look forward to speaking with you and good luck learning how to do your own PR. It will only be a matter of time before your name is up in lights! 😉