Dog Days of Summer: 3 Tips for Pitching the Media

July 6, 2020 1:16 pm Published by
With the Fourth of July already in the rearview mirror, suddenly, we find ourselves not just in the second half of 2020, but also the unofficial second half of summer.

What does this mean for PR and IR teams angling for the attention of newsrooms? This year is like no other in modern memory and election day is drawing nearer. It’s also a fact some key points of contact are taking a dip in the pool, not checking their inboxes.

Yet, perhaps counterintuitively, precisely because the pandemic and politics consume so much oxygen, there may even be more of an appetite for stories that are welcome relief from the fatigue so many feel. Here are three things to remember as you serve up your story idea to the media:

  1. In PR, as in life, people always come first. In the current climate that means being mindful of how your story squares with public health concerns as well as the circumstances folks are facing as you reach out to them. They’re taking care of business just as you are, but perhaps also managing the needs of family members or other factors. Communicate accordingly.
  2. Research the journalists you plan to pitch. Prepare yourself to genuinely remark on pieces they have published that signal why you are confident their audience would care about your story right now. Whether you call, email, or tweet, tailor your messaging to the individual.
  3. Make it easy for the media to make it visual. Let them know you have high-resolution images and video ready to go and that interview subjects are available.

Are you more likely to get someone’s voicemail or auto-responder this time of year? For sure. But producers and editors are in perpetual need of content to fill their calendars year-round. If you approach your pitch with the mindset of helping to solve that problem for them with something refreshing rather than seeking publicity, your placement has a better chance of seeing the light of day.

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