HOW PR PITCHING CAN BE LIKE ONLINE DATING…
A number of my close girlfriends are single. Each month we head out to one of Toronto’s newest hot spots for some delicious fare, fruity cocktails and juicy gossip. For this happily married woman of 16-years, I love hearing their fun-filled and adventurous dating stories – especially the online dating ones! When listening to their stories I can’t help but think how their online dating stories can be likened to PR and pitching a story to a new media or influencer contact.
As a former journalist turned PR professional (15+years ago and happily counting!) I can recall a time the shoe was on the other foot. Many PR people – who are close friends of mine today – tried to woo me to their events or to write about their client’s newest products. Event-wise there was the promise of an unforgettable evening filled with chef-inspired fare, endless fruity drinks and the greatest gift bags ever. Was it enticing? Absolutely!
With that in mind, here goes my light-hearted comparison as to how PR pitching can be like online dating today:
First impressions – you only get one shot to make a good first impression. If the first line in your pitch doesn’t grab media or influencer’s attention they are moving on to the next pitch. Just like Tinder (or so I’m told!) – you’re one swipe away from being forgotten if you can’t entice interest.
Background Check – chances are if you are in the online dating world and get interest from someone you automatically google that person and find out more about them. Their likes. Their interests. The same applies when crafting a media and influencer list for your next campaign. Do your research. Learn more about the media and influencers you are pitching to ensure you are pitching story ideas or events that are of interest to them and their readers/followers. And, for influencers it’s important to pitch opportunities that are in line with their brand.
The Sizzle – sending a blanket pitch to media or influencers just screams “I can’t be bothered to learn more about you!” Great way to go unnoticed. Same as in dating – you need to make it personal. And, make it stand-out among all the other pitches vying for attention.
The Waiting Game – silence can be deafening. Especially when on a specific timeline for an announcement or upcoming event. It’s just like waiting for him or her to call or text. You know they’re likely interested. But when will they get back to you? Trust the process and be patient without being over needy, as media and influencers are extremely busy.
Follow-up – remember you’re only as memorable as the moment. To keep top-of-mind you need to follow-up (not stalk!). After an event or announcement where media or influencers have written or posted about your client it’s always nice to acknowledge it and let them know you appreciate it. It’s a great opportunity to keep the conversation going and build a long-term relationship with media and influencers.