Connecting with people in train stations or elevators satisfies us, and it can even render an invigorating adrenaline rush.
When engaging people in conversation, the pragmatic part of my brain always reminds me: “Darryl, don’t waste people’s time unless you have something amazing to share.”
Media practitioners should listen to their pragmatic inner voices, too, instead of constantly thinking their next story warrants a pitch.
As a former TV reporter, I’d often get pitches about “the biggest deal,” “the best product” or another “social cause.”
Though I am certain the PR pros behind these pitches had good intentions, they somehow didn’t recognize that as a busy journalist I probably had other things on my mind besides their “next big story.”
Good media relations professionals always do their best when pitching a client. Great media relations practitioners, however, realize that they should ask themselves this question before drafting a pitch: “So what?”
Answering this question boils down to three simple things:
1.The big news. The pitch must feel fresh and new. If it doesn’t, you’re wasting the reporter’s time and your client’s investment. In today’s media landscape, be careful that your pitch is ready for public record.
Jean Seer of MediaMiser smartly advises, “Be thoughtful about pitches, as your pitch is also a few strokes away from being misrepresented.”
2. The look of your pitch. Show the journalist the visual elements of your story. Remember that journalists are storytellers, so providing content, data and facts must be a part of your narrative.
3. Your audience. Determine how your pitch will affect a specific target audience. This will focus your efforts and help to identify which journalists to pursue. Finding the right medium (a local newspaper, industry magazine or digital news outfit) will increase your content’s value.
Darryl Konynenbelt is the media lead at Navigator in Toronto. He coaches senior executives and others on current events, public affairs and crisis management. A version of this article originally appeared on Muck Rack , a service that enables you to find journalists to pitch, build media lists, get press alerts and create coverage reports with social media data.