Drop The Superlatives, Get Noticed By The Media
Being seen and heard in a cluttered media landscape can be extremely challenging. Within the past five years, the media landscape has changed incrementally. This means that reporters who were industry specialists are now covering multiple beats. With little time available to sift through the tons of story pitches being submitted, you/your company has a better chance at standing out by using the right language and even punctuation. Following are 4 tips:
Leave out superlatives
Avoid using clichéd adjectives, such as “best” or “amazing” or “revolutionary” when describing your product, service or the accomplishments of a C-suite executive. These words can lack credibility – especially if you’re talking about your own company in that way- and will only move the editor to press the delete button. In addition to language, practice restraint with exclamation points which can be construed as self promotional and juvenile.
Just the facts
What makes your product/service or executive spokesperson worth a journalist’s’ attention? Journalists’ inboxes are overflowing with pitches and e-newsletters. What they really want to know are the unique selling points (USP). What makes what you have different than other things that are like it in the industry? Facts, when presented in a concise manner, using selective language, will give your product traction amidst all the clutter.
Starting your pitch (and ending it) with a question can prompt engagement with a reporter. Posing a question makes them think about what part they could play in supporting your product/service, or how the product/service might benefit them. These prompts not only help promote your product, but also help build relationships
Online communication has led to a more casual approach overall when dealing with the press. Feel free to be colloquial when reaching out, i.e., going by a first name basis, making informal introductory statements. That said, it’s important to know who you’re writing to by researching their particular coverage topic/s and style. Get comfortable with who you’re pitching to (but not too comfortable— still try and maintain that level of professionalism).
Do you think your choice of language used in a media pitch helped your company get noticed by the media?