This Is How You Pitch: How To Kick Ass In Your First Years of PR by Ed Zitron

In summary:

  1. Quick read
  2. Practical advice
  3. Heavily focused on email pitching.

A good read on pitching the medHowYouPitchia, I found it interesting that Ed focused so heavily on email pitching – I’ve read many, many blogs on the subject of email vs phone pitching and I think it’s safe to say that at least in NZ the verdict is still out.

As a slight digression this is one of the best blog posts I’ve read on the subject of pitching: Why bad PR is killing all the fluffy kittens. 

Back to Ed’s book: no nonsense and some good ideas in there if your looking for the basics on pitching. Also for a fascinating insight into how this world of media relations can go horribly askew – check out Ryan Hoilday’s Confessions of Media Manipulator over here.

Six pitching tips from This Is How You Pitch

(all quotes directly from the book, headings = mine)

1. It’s about people
“Pitching is simply learning how words relate to people — what makes sense in a particular moment, what connects to a person and their own personal story versus what makes somebody walk away and wish you were dead.”

2. Be polite
“Use your manners. Treat others the way that you want to be treated. Count to ten before you respond to jerks.”

3. Keep it short and personal
“It must be direct and free of jargon or fluff. It’s written, not copy-pasted. Write each pitch individually, for each person, each time.”

4. Put done the phone
“I’d encourage you to avoid making phone calls. Emails can be annoying, but an unscheduled phone call is invasive and always a bad idea from that standpoint.”

5. Follow up
“After You Email Just because you’ve sent the email pitch doesn’t mean your work is done. Even when you do email a reporter a really specific pitch, they may not respond. Don’t harass them. Give them a few days between replies — follow up once, maybe twice — then just let it go.”

6. Say thank you
“I have a killer secret I use when I really want to go the extra mile for somebody. When I want them to know just how much I appreciate them, I…wait for it…handwrite them a note.”

Pick up the book here.

Happy reading,

C x

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