Take a proactive approach—rather than a reactive one—and pitch your story to the media.

If your company’s media relations strategy consists of sending out press releases and hoping for reporters to call you, you may not have gotten the media attention or coverage you were hoping for.

Try a new, proactive approach to getting the recognition and exposure you deserve.

A proactive approach means actively seeking out and building relationships with reporters to cover your story. To give you a jump start, SunStar Senior Account Executive Milin Iyer gives some tips on putting together a good media pitch and getting it in the hands of reporters:

Tips on pitching your story

A pitch is what you use to catch the attention of a reporter, blogger or producer to try and get them interested in covering your story. Usually it is sent by email. A pitch is different from a press release because it is shorter, offers a story idea rather than the story itself, and is sent to a specific journalist rather than in a blast email or via an online press distribution service. Here are some tips on making a quality pitch:

  1. Make it newsworthy – Ask yourself where the news hook is in your story and what makes it interesting to the hundreds of readers or viewers that will see it. Newsworthy often means timely, unique, helpful, or something that uncovers a larger trend. Recently, the media has deemed Britain’s exit from the EU, US foreign policy, and the upcoming election as newsworthy topics.
  2. Keep it short – Reporters work on tight deadlines and receive hundreds of emails a day. Make your pitch catchy and relevant to the reporter you are reaching out to in the first few lines. Try not to write a pitch that is longer than 2 paragraphs.
  3. Keep it simple – Avoid using industry jargon or attempting to describe the technology. The important thing is to catch the reporter’s interest with a news angle so that they will contact you for more information.
  4. Reach out to relevant reporters – Build your reporter database over time and make an effort to know what they like to write about. Remember, you are sending your pitch to a select group of reporters that you feel will be interested in your story. Send emails out individually, not to multiple reporters at once.
  5. Pick up the phone – Some people find the thought of phoning a reporter intimidating, but a brief and courteous phone call to ask if they received your email is a good way to follow up. By making a phone call you may be able to influence the upcoming story or spark interest in a new one.
  6. Meet with reporters – Just like the sales process, there is no substitute for in-person meetings. It lets reporters know that you value your relationship with them and keeps you at the front of their mind when they are looking for sources. Know your company’s story, including what makes you different, and practice rehearsing it in a simple and repeatable way.

Remember, you won’t get results overnight. Be patient, and take a disciplined and structured approach to getting your story in the hands of the right reporters. Positive media coverage on a regular basis can often be the silver bullet in your marketing effort. Earning such recognition attracts investors and customers, elevates your image, and builds your brand at a fraction of the cost of most other marketing efforts.

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