pitching Tag

Sometimes what a publicist or PR agency does looks SO easy, especially to an entrepreneur with a naturally outgoing nature. After all, how hard can it be to write and send press releases, or schedule interviews? In many cases, it's not that hard. I've known several business owners and managers who are very good at maintaining relationships with smaller market journalists, and who know when and how to write a press release.  If you believe PR is just sending out press releases and coordinating interviews go for it. BUT - and this is a very big BUT - if you really want to use public relations for the right reasons, I believe you have to hire a professional publicist.  And by professional, I mean GOOD. I wrote about ways to find a good PR firm in February. I'm going to write next on how to create room in your marketing budget to hire one. But first, here are six reasons it might be smart to hire a public relations professional:

[caption id="attachment_1284" align="alignleft" width="150" caption="(MICHAEL ROZMAN/WARNER BROS.) "][/caption] After the success of my last blog post on pitching freelance writers I decided to start a weekly feature called "How to Pitch". I'd like to encourage readers to comment with their own tips and ideas. Also, please let me know if there is a specific show you'd like to pitch. I'll try to interview one of the producers to get the inside scoop! ( If you're curious about being a good TV guest, here's a post on that I did a while ago.) First let's start with basic stuff. Although social media is the craze (and it's cheap) it's still building fans one to one. Although TV numbers continue to decline the medium provides  a huge opportunity to deliver your message one to many.  But for most people regular press releases and pitches probably won't get you in the door unless there is a show already planned -  that your message or back story fits perfectly. That can happen, but then you're depending on luck. It's better to create your own pitch, which means thinking like a producer and coming up with a compelling segment all your own. (At the end of this post I've included an actual pitch that got my client on Montel, just to show you a successful sample.)  Here are the steps for creating your own pitch - whether it's local or national, this is really how it works on most talk shows. Authors, it works the same for you. Unless you're already well-known, you need to come up with a unique idea to help sell your book.

A decade ago I sat in meeting after meeting in Silicon Valley hearing about the new economy and how the 'old school' IT companies were dead. It's so funny to me now, listening to all the social media experts and Web 2.0 pundits say that 'traditional PR is dead.' I venture to say that lazy people hope by saying traditional PR is dead, maybe they can make it so. After all it's a whole lot easier to sit in your jammies and tweet and facebook the night away than it is to call Patty Neger at Good Morning America to find out if she likes the latest book you've sent her. Believe me, I would much rather be trading snarky barbs with folks like @CLE84 than getting rejected for yet another story idea by a crusty print reporter.