At AHA, we have spent a great deal of time focusing on what makes a great pitch – to media, to bloggers and, depending on the objective of what we’re working on, to other external and internal stakeholder groups. A good pitch tells a story. It should be a short story, but it is a story – one that piques curiosity and provides relevant information through stats, facts, details and writing that paints a picture. More and more often these days, you can also use video or audio in a pitch. We often create video news releases or pitches for clients and have experienced strong success in this area.
There is a great piece on Ragan.com on how to create a great pitch. It’s worth a read.
Before you head over there, I want to focus on additional opportunities that can come from developing a good pitch. Over the past year, AHA has done quite a bit of research on the art of the pitch and how pitches to a range of stakeholders, including media and bloggers, have evolved. It has been an interesting process and, in part, our discoveries here have led us to develop a new area at our PR agency. We’ll be “soft” launching this tomorrow, so I won’t say any more about this yet. I hope you will check us out on Wednesday to learn more about this great, new opportunity we are offering clients.
The world communicates differently these days – the majority of your stakeholders have online access and use it regularly. This is a given and it’s time to embrace the fact that online communication is at the core of how the world communicates.
When you develop a good pitch – one that is newsworthy, that showcases your organization, that is authentic, interesting and even entertaining, that provides a glimpse of your brand personality and of the people that work in your organization – it is important to look at it from different angles of how that story can be used, how it can be told, and who would be interested in hearing it. Creating interesting and engaging pitches for journalists and bloggers is one component of communication. For our clients, we often look at how we can take an interesting pitch – which, I must repeat, is a concise story idea put into a style and format that works for the specific journalist or blogger – and use it for other stakeholders, if it doesn’t get picked up by media.
Newsrooms are shrinking; bloggers are overwhelmed with good (and bad) pitches. Generating traditional media coverage or having a blogger write about your organization isn’t a given – even if you have a great story that would/could/should work for them. Sometimes there just isn’t space to cover your story; other times there isn’t enough time or person power to do so. It is just the reality of the times we live in. However, that doesn’t mean that the story can’t be told; it means you have to think of other ways you could use the content.