Top 5 things you need to pitch media

Each year, McKeeman embarks on an agency development retreat – designed to cultivate strong relationships between colleagues, enrich the team’s collective and individual professional development, and dive into client and company goals.

At this year’s “Camp McKeeman” in October, Media Relations Director, Katie, and Media Relations Manager, Jocelyn, led the team through an engaging presentation titled, “Pitch a Tent Story: Top 5 Things You Need to Pitch Media.”

Katie and Jocelyn kickstarted the team discussion with a game of Family Feud. The agency was split into two teams and asked to consider the following statement:

“I’m going to pitch my client to the media, and I know I need ____”

After a lively discussion and friendly competitive spirit from both teams, the media relations mavens revealed the top 5 things they knew they needed to have packed in their pitch when performing media outreach on behalf of a client–

  1. A story
    1. Media relations all boils down to one thing: strong storytelling. If we don’t have a story to tell, what are we really doing calling media in the first place? 
  2. A timely peg
    1. If your story happened yesterday, it’s old news. Timeliness is everything. When you’re putting your pitch together, always ask yourself, how is this story aligned with something relevant in culture or current trends?
  3. Data to make the story relevant and credible
    1. There are always numbers out there to make your story more relevant. Utilize statistics and relevant research to bolster your story. Journalists will already be looking for these data points to build credibility – go ahead and do that homework for them! If they can depend on you for that, they’ll start knocking on your door for stories.
  4. Video & images
    1. What’s more compelling…listening to someone tell you about something that happened or watching it unfold with your very own eyes? Provide strong, hi-res visuals that evoke emotion or bring your story to life. 
  5. A spokesperson (or someone to deliver your message)
    1. Identify one person from your client’s organization who can represent the brand with confidence – offer their perspective in an interview! BUT, when you have the opportunity to offer up a REAL person who is impacted or the story is actually happening to (i.e., a mother, a child, a student, a teacher) go with them (smile) and they’ll make your client’s organization even more memorable.

As an agency, McKeeman values discussion between subject matter specialties such as social media, client relations, and media relations. Small firms work better together when colleagues can support each other by learning and speaking each other’s language – ultimately driving holistic, well-rounded communications strategies to clients.

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