Pitches That Hit the Mark: PR’s Guide to Grabbing a Reporter’s Attention

Saturday - 23 November 2013

The term “elevator pitch” originated in Hollywood to describe screenwriters that would catch an unsuspecting executive on an elevator ride.

Like those screenwriters, PR pros must pitch big ideas and complex stories to busy writers in a competitive market. For PR pros hoping to land a blockbuster hit, Brian Pittman shares Pitch Like the Hollywood Pros: The 8 R’s of the Perfect PR Pitch. Both Michael Hauge, best-selling PR author, and Harry Medved, Fandango’s senior PR director, contributed to the 3-step guide.

Step 1: Master more steps…the 8 R’s of pitching.

  • Research targeted buyers and reporters.
  • Engage in rapport by sharing a common experience or acknowledging past work.
  • Review the elements of a good story: heroes, empathy, opportunity, new situations, goals, and conflicts.
  • W(R)ite your pitch.
  • Rehearse your pitch.
  • Reveal your pitch and start with its strongest elements. Don’t back into the lead.
  • Request the journalist to do something with a call to action.
  • Respond immediately when the reporter follows up. Don’t do all the talking — listen and take note of the reporter’s questions and suggestions.

Step 2: Incorporate Medved’s 5 traits of a PR pitch: relevance, topicality, numbers, freshness, brevity.

Step 3: Try the “non-pitch” pitch. Pitches are more successful when you offer to act as a resource for reporters. Your goal should not be to promote your company, but to benefit your audience.

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