Time and time again, we’ve heard reporters ranting about horrible PR pitches. From comments like “distastefully leveraging of a celebrity’s death” to “I have no idea what this is,” the list of bad pitches is endless. In fact, there’s even a blog dedicated to them, and that’s the kind of fame that no PR practitioner ever welcomes.
According to a survey conducted earlier this year, one of the top frustrations for journalists is a lack of obvious relevance in the stories they are pitched. What’s more, the average time a reporter spends evaluating a pitch is a shockingly brief eight seconds. So you have to get to the point and capture their attention, really quickly.
Fortunately, there's a way to avoid these pitfalls and create compelling pitches that can make your stories sing. Following several discussions with journalists, the LEWIS team in Asia has developed something called “Bullet Pitching”. It's based on the strategic use of bullet points and two key journalistic principles: KISS (Keep it Simple, Stupid) and The Five W's (What, Who, Why, Where and When).
Here is an example of Bullet Pitching in action:
Subject: Interview Opp: John Doe of XYZ Inc, Lead Game Designer of upcoming AR Game – ‘Very Revolutionary’.
I hope you’ve been well!
I would like to interest you with an interview with Mr John Doe, Lead Game Designer at XYZ Inc,who is the brains behind the upcoming augmented reality (AR) game – ‘Very Revolutionary’ – which analysts are already predicting will set a new record for the number of downloads on the day of release.
I have included more information about ‘Very Revolutionary’ below.
John has been with XYZ Inc for over 20 years. In addition to leading the development of ‘Very Revolutionary’, John has also been involved in the creation of a host of other successful games, such as ‘Wonderful Adventures’ and ‘Euphoric Lands’.
For this interview, John would be able to:
- Reveal the platforms on which the game will be released
- Share what gamers can look forward to in the new game
- Talk about the main inspirations for the game
- Discuss the challenges he and his team faced while developing the game
- Give his thoughts on the direction of AR gaming
Analysts are already predicting that ‘Very Revolutionary’ will set a new download record. (Insert statistics on the increasing popularity and profitability of augmented reality gaming)
John will be available on Friday, 13 May 2016 from 3pm to 5pm at Very Good Hotel.
Could you please let me know your thoughts on this opportunity? If you have any queries or would like more information just let me know.
Regards and best wishes,
About The Very Revolutionary AR Game
(Insert description about The Very Revolutionary AR Game.)
The key to successful Bullet Pitching is to keep everything short and sweet. Follow the journalistic inverted pyramid style (that’s a whole other blog post) that reporters are familiar with and put the most important information first. Any additional information can be tagged on further down.
A good trick when dealing with busy media is to give the pitch a punchy headline that draws them in right from the beginning. Format the head and the subsidiary bullets in bold and underline key phrases so the reporter can get a picture of what you are selling at a glance.
Personally, I always prefer pitching to the media via email first. Considering how busy they are, there may not be time to explain everything on the phone. With email, the media can look through all the information when it’s convenient for them.
Pitching stories is undoubtedly an art. The better your story, the better the chance of inspiring a journalist to give it the attention it deserves. And with Bullet Pitching you will be on your way to becoming a media pitching Mozart in no time!
Do share your thoughts and what other styles you find work well when pitching to the media in the comments sections below!