Odyssey Teams (an Abbi Agency client), along with the MPI World Education Congress Convention, came together to create more than 250 prosthetic hands for amputees in developing countries. My job was to pitch to local television stations, newspapers and magazines to cover the news and spread the word.
The successes and failures that this PR newbie experienced with this event taught me a lot about one specific aspect of my industry: how to pitch local TV stations. Here are the top four things I walked away from the event with.
1. Be personal.
As much as I dislike doing it, I’ve learned that picking up the phone and making a call before you send out an email is the most effective way to ensure your story gets some sort of coverage. Before you even send the press release to the assignment editor, give him or her a call. Ask if the editor has a second to chat about an upcoming event or story idea that you have. Provide a very brief overview so that it’s on the station’s radar, and say you’re going to email more information.