Getting in touch with journalists can be a tricky affair, even for PR professionals with years of experience. It’s not easy to make a pitch when the other party is clearly keeping an eye on the clock.
Trust us when we say that the number of hours worked, deadlines and the journalist’s general mood has a large influence on their receptiveness.
Here are are some Script Tips for all occasions:
- Do loads of pre-call prep
Before making that phone call, read up on the pitch and have notes with you, as a journalist may need more information. More importantly, do the necessary background research on the publication in question and ascertain that your story falls in a beat that the journalist covers.
- Get straight to the point
Saying “I called because I have a pitch for you” early in the conversation is more effective than launching into small talk, as every minute counts. Sure, drop in anecdotes about the news scene to gain brownie points, but be ready to snap back into business if the journalist drops hints about wanting to speed things up.
- Have angles ready
After listening to your pitch, the journalist is likely to immediately mull over story angles that he/she can run through an editor. In this case, it will be useful to come up with a few of story angles – which keep their readers in mind – to help them along. Doing prior research about the types of stories the journalist covers can help a lot here.
- Be nice
You may have tried to call the journalist many times. In fact, missed calls are probably the best representative of your relationship. But being cold about a missed press release doesn’t make things easier for anyone. So take a deep breath before starting to explain your pitch over the phone.
Having been on the other side of the fence ourselves, we hope you found our tips useful.
Written by: (www.script.com.sg) Edited & Illustrated by: Script Consultants Pte Ltd