Episode 24

Published on:

16th Dec 2022

Preparing to Pitch Journalists

Are you getting ready to pitch a journalist on some bit of news about your podcast or your business? You're going to want to do some research before you hit send. On today's episode, we discuss how to research a journalist before you pitch them in order to make sure you're pitching the right people, in the right way, about the right things.

Links to the things we discussed this episode:

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Fuzz Martin 0:00

Good morning podcasters Are you planning to pitch a journalist on some important news, or an idea for a story? Let's talk about how you should prepare.

Fuzz Martin 0:13

My name is Fuzz Martin and this is Good Morning, Podcasters! This show comes out thrice weekly with new episodes on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. We cover things related to public relations, social media, advertising and marketing, as they relate to podcasters and podcasting. We're going to have a conversation about pitching journalists today.

Fuzz Martin 0:39

But first, I want to be sure that you all know what a pitch is. I'm going to give you the straight definition from muckrack.com, which is a PR website, because they've worded it more eloquently than I would have from MK rack. A media pitch is a short communication typically an email or direct message, suggesting a news story to a journalist or editor at a publication, radio station or broadcast network. The goal of a pitch is to generate coverage and determine if your media contact is interested in creating a story around the content. I've linked to Muck Rack's media pitching guide in the show notes. It's well written.

Fuzz Martin 1:24

Now that you know what a pitch is, let's talk about what you need to do before you pitch a journalist. First, you're going to want to make sure that your news is newsworthy. are you pitching a story? Or are you pitching an ad, if your content isn't newsworthy, you should likely skip the editor and go right to the outlets ad sales department. Check your news to make sure it's timely and that it will make an impact to readers, viewers, listeners, etc. Of that news outlet, not just your ego. If you've determined that it's a good idea to send your pitch, then the next part is crafting the messaging within your pitch, right out what you're trying to accomplish. Cut it down to as few words as possible, and really hone it down. What is your story? Why is it important? And why should that journalist care, then be sure to gather all of your links.

Fuzz Martin 2:20

So this before he said any of this out, make sure you gather all the links that are pertinent to your pitch. And keep them in one handy place because you're going to need them, then you're going to want to get some publication quality, high resolution photos of anything that you're pitching, whether that's your headshot, a product shot, a photo of your self, or your esteemed guests in the studio, et cetera. In most cases, an outlet isn't going to track down photos, or send out a photographer, unless they're doing a really big feature article on you. So be prepared to give journalists as much content as you can to make their jobs easier. But also have them handy. So when they ask for them, you can get them that information right away. So take that high res photo or those high res photos and place them in someplace like Google Drive, OneDrive, Dropbox, et cetera, or a folder on your website. And then most importantly, with that, once you've uploaded them, make sure that they're publicly accessible from a link. So you hate to send a link out to somebody, only to have them have to request access. So make sure that those are accessible with a shared link. Then another tip is to take that photo or those photos and turn them into thumbnails and have them available so that you can put them into your email without them being a huge attachment. All right, so we got that all squared away.

Fuzz Martin 3:53

Now you need to do some research, you're not going to just send a blanket pitch out to a whole bunch of journalists, we're not sending BCC emails out here, you're going to want to send tailored messages to each journalist that you're pitching. And because of that, you're going to need to do some research on each of those journalists. So look them up. Go ahead and read articles from all of the journalists that you're thinking of pitching. First, determine if the type of content that you're pitching them even lines up with what they write about. If it doesn't, then skip it don't even waste their time or yours. If it does line up great. Pay close attention to their style. Are they straightforward? Are they snarky? Are they funny? And then consider emulating their style slightly in your pitch, when you send it to them via email. Also never hurts. If you subtly allude to a previous article that they've written. It's best to make sure that if you do that it's authentic and doesn't feel forced. But despite how I'm sure that journalists feel sometimes they are people too. And people like to be praised now and then. So saying something like, Hey, James, I saw your article on X, Y, or Z, it was great. To go a long way. If you actually read the article, then you're going to want to personalize your pitch to each of those journalists. So again, send it to one journalist at a time, and be sure that what you're sending them and what you're pitching them is something that they would cover.

Fuzz Martin 5:32

Also be concise. I mentioned this earlier, but a lot of journalists receive hundreds of pitches a week, and a wall of text might bore them into the point of marking your pitches spam, or at least not responding to you, in your pitch, include links to your high res photos. Again, make sure they're accessible. Sometimes, they're included his thumbnails that give instructions on how to get to the full res images. But don't ever attach a big high res image file to an email, it will likely end up in their spam box before they even see it because of their filters. And finally, once you've sent out your pitch, be prepared to respond to whomever you're pitched. They're tight on deadlines. They don't have a lot of extra time. If a journalist that you pitched asked you a question, get back to them immediately. If you're asking them for something and they respond to you, they're doing you a favor and not the other way around. That means respond to their emails, their text messages, their phone calls, their DMS, whatever might come your way. Right away. This is what you asked for. They didn't ask for it. So be ready to respond. You got it. Cool.

Fuzz Martin 6:46

That'll do it for Good Morning. Podcasters for today, I appreciate you listening. Be sure to hit the Follow button in your pod player. You're a podcaster you know where that button is? You tell your listeners to do it all the time. So please do it for me and go give Good Morning, Podcasters! a little follow too, Okay?

Fuzz Martin 7:06

Be sure to join Jeff Townsend and myself on Saturday mornings for Podcasting Sucks where we take a deeper dive into the world of podcasting and trying to make some of the harder parts of podcasting easier for you. You're not in this alone. The Podcasting Sucks podcast is available right here in the Good Morning, Podcasters feed. All episodes are available at goodmorningpod.com That is goodmorningpod.com. Have a great weekend, and we will talk to you, well, tomorrow and also Monday. right here on Good Morning, Podcasters!

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Good Morning Podcasters!
Marketing, Advertising, PR and Social Media Tips for Podcasters
Good Morning Podcasters explores marketing, advertising, public relations, and social media topics as they relate to podcasting and content creation. The show is hosted by Fuzz Martin—an agency owner and former broadcaster. The show is published on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, with regular bonus episodes of "Podcasting Sucks!" with co-host Jeff Townsend on Saturday mornings.

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Fuzz Martin

Fuzz Martin is a partner and Chief Strategy Officer at EPIC Creative in West Bend, Wis.