Friday, February 22, 2013

Kool-aid Rehab; A Sharp Pitch 4-Prong Approach

I hope you had a nice recess break!   :)

Now back to Kool-aid Rehab.   Today's theme is going to reference point  #3. from the 12-step relief plan (My introductory blog)  titled; 'Write Your Own Press Releases'......and 'then what?'.... this idea hearkens back to the idea that 'yes', you can take the PR 'step' - but be aware of what you are 'stepping' intoI have said this before... it is tricky - put on your helmet and start 'pitching' :)
Professional caliber writing in today's world of zero-attention-spans should be thoughtfully written and very concise. No time for fluff or clever adjectives.   It's more important to carefully articulate your pitch in short sentences and support these words with bullet points (and pictures).

To note;  on any given day a media person is receiving hundred's of emails and many of those are press releases just like yours.

Even with crisp wordsmith techniques this effort can still be in vain if you can't get your story placed - so be aware are still pitching from the bottom of a haystack looking for a needle.

In this wildly competitive arena, it is really important to create a snappy headline in the subject line which will grab someones attention. Think about your own 'in box'.... you can tell immediately the things that you will quickly delete - that same rule holds true for media. 

Soliciting someone to write about your product or service is a very challenging ordeal....Staff writers and freelancers finishing paid assignments are usually not looking for new projects that they initiate.....pitching new concepts, ideas or (God forbid) a  commercial brand to their editors is a stretch in most cases. Not impossible... but a stretch.  Getting 'reviewers' is also competitive.

I have shipped expensive samples with great succinct story ideas to appropriate writers with targeted notes to learn after repeated follow-up that ('it's still in the box') or .... it will be 'fun' to write about later.... 'if I ever decide to write on that subject' -- woo hoo!  This 'approach' is really frustrating so (in my humble opinion) I recommend going to the next prong of this 'pitch'-fork.

Become a quick reader (3 x's daily) to HARO (Help A Reporter Out) inquiries (40-60 individual posts)  .... it's  a free subscription to an ass backwards (brilliant) way to reach media by helping!  The idea is; busy reporters and writers currently writing stories - many who are under deadline,  need specific information to support what they are doing and you just may have what they need
But Beware!  This is also crazy competitive and it's important to answer quickly --- short and sweet is the ticket here --- no attachments or pictures are allowed.  It's just the facts ma'am...... JUST GO FOR IT!    If a reporter needs you they will very quickly be in touch.  

After time, you will get into a rhythm about this - there are days when I feel like an EMT - reading fast (with flashers on) and writing like a manic to get in their pipeline for consideration! That's just the facts!


So in conclusion;  Here are the headlines for this 'lesson'.... 

1). Boil down your 'pitch' to very simple concepts.  Short paragraphs with bullet points are best.

 2). Budget time for researching timely newsworthy topics which you can 'attach' your message to.

 3). Pitch appropriate news outlets and freelancers.

 4). Subscribe to HARO (Help A Report Out) answer even those inquiries that are on the just never know!

Have a nice weekend and take some time to .... NOT drink Kool-aid but be realistic in your endeavors. :) 

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About Me- I'm everywhere!

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anywhere and everywhere, USA, Illinois, United States
I'm a sassy, very distracted older mom...with lots of wild stories (and rants) about my family and life...Daughter 20, college student, sassy, unpredictable, violin playing, animal enthusiast...Son, 17 video addict, Chess playing-star / trombone player...husband (old, tired, chronically stressed and impatient, but a good sport nonetheless) The underbelly of life for me; I’m a bright eyed ‘entrepreneur’ – just now completing Kool-aid Rehab a frightening 12 step process to figure out what I am doing with my life. On the home front, we have a gang of animals that keep the place lively too! 'Emma', dirty ungroomed Sheepdog, 'Lollipop' a smart Border Collie/Chow Chow also referred to as 'Daddy's Little Fatty', 2 cats; one eyed 'Winky' and emotionally disturbed- beyond crabby ....'Babycakes' (it's complicated,) 1 bird 'Tutu', and finally 'Templeton' (a.k.a. Little Shit)- a teeny dog who loves to 'run' .... more trouble than all put together and dumb as a stick. but we love him! :)