A few months ago, I gave a talk called “How to Get Your Blog in the News and What to Do Once You’re There,” at the Women Get Social blogging conference with PR guru Jennifer Chidester of Modern PR. This post is a condensed version of our presentation hitting the highlights of what to do before, during and after you’re on the news.
THE PLAN OF ATTACK:
1. Define the “what, how, why” of your pitch.
- What will your segment be about
- How can you present the information that is newsworthy and/or timely
- Why are you the best person to present said information (also, why do viewers need/want the information.
2. Time your attack. What holiday or major event is coming up that can tie in with what you are pitching?
For example, pitching a book called Dead Dads Club to media outlets, would make sense around Father’s Day and then again before the Holidays because the subject of fathers and of loss are relevant at those times of year.
3. Research the media outlets and determine which ones are right for your material and the audience you want to reach. Cision is a great resource, but it’s pricey, so we suggest that you go in on it with a few other bloggers.
4. Don’t promise anything. If you are pitching a segment on “hot baby products” or “items you need for summer,” don’t promise a client or a company that you will get them on the air. You never know what’s going to happen on the air so you can’t promise that you’ll be able to get the name of every product in and it’s not
THE EMAIL PITCH
1. It’s all about the first sentence. If you don’t get their attention early, as in the first few words, you’ve lost ‘em.
2. Use bullet points and short sentences–no long paragraphs.
3. Be sure your primary message is in the first three lines.
4. If possible, tie your pitch to something that is timely (I mentioned this above, but it’s worth repeating).
For example: if your blog focuses on DIY crafts, then pitch before one of the major holidays when crafts are hot.
5. Include links that show-off prior news segment(s) or some sort of on-camera work, if you have one.
6. Never send large files because they clog their inboxes and the recipient might be afraid to open an attachment (nor do they want to take the extra 5 seconds it takes to open it).
7. Rather than sending an attachment, you can put your press release in the body of the email and embed a medium size pic.
8. Make suggestions for how the segment might go, but be open to anything the producer has in mind.
Stay tuned next week for “Get Your Blog in the News – Part 2 – What To Do Once You’re There” which will include tips on how to prepare for your segment, what to wear and what to do once you’re there. I’ll also discuss the issue of payment for news gigs and how to follow-up once you’ve left the station.