Have you ever heard the saying, “A smile can be heard over the phone”? It rings true, but when it comes to pitching stories over the phone (call-downs), you’ll need more than just a grin to be heard.
Pitching a story, whether in person, via email or over the phone, should be a very well thought-out process. A good PR professional knows that reporters work on deadlines and have no time to waste. In light of this, if a PR pitch is unclear, confusing, too long, unstructured, filled with typos or any other careless efforts, the reporter won’t give you the time of day – even if it’s the best story ever told – it’s all about the pitch.
One of my dearest mentors once told me, “Each word should be intentional.” That’s something that is always in the back of my mind while I am pitching.
The best way to get your pitch heard is to be strategic about the process. Here five tips to keep in mind when you are faced with the challenge of call-downs.
1. Script it and warm up. Have a plan and be organized by developing an outline of what you will say, whether that’s with a script or bullet points. Be prepared with the materials you’ll need, such as talking points, the press release if you have one, or other key messages.