Know Thy Reporter: Why PR Pros Should Dig Up Dirt on Reporters
I don't know about you, but I can sniff out a spam email faster than you can say spam.
Here's how a spam pitch looks to a reporter:
I'd like to introduce you to the latest gadget preschoolers can use to help them focus in the classroom. Blah Blah Blah about the product.
What do you think? May I send a sample?
This is canned, trust me. Someone cut and pasted this same email with little effort and sent it to a bunch of reporters.
But look at this pitch:
I loved your last story on germs in preschools. I feel the same way - you just have to be careful. I, too, wish that schools were more vigilant with regards to hand-washing, cleansing, etc.
The reason I'm writing is because I know you write about preschool products and I'd like to introduce to a new product for the preschool aged kids.
It's a XX that does XX.
What do you think? May I send you a sample?
This person took a lot of time to personalize their pitch and showed understanding of the reporter's interests and previous articles.
Here's how to personalize your pitch:
Check out a reporter's last story. Read it and start off your pitch commenting on something they recently wrote about.
Google the reporter. See if you can find any information about them. Maybe you'll learn they have twins and some how what you're pitching has a tie to multiple births.
Understand the reporter's beat and interest. If you do enough research, you'll come to understand what a reporter likes to write about. Reporters with an interest in a specific topic will write about that topic in every imaginable angle - and if you have a new angle for them to take, you're golden!