Media Pitching by Twitter, Facebook… even text message?

Posted on May 19, 2011 by Erik HofferNo Comments

So said panelists on the media breakfast hosted by BusinessWire in Chicago last week.

Featured guest speakers included Kathryn Janicek, Daypart Manager/Executive Producer, NBC 5 Chicago; Susanna Negovan, Editor-in-Chief, Michigan Avenue Magazine; and Kathryn Born, founder and Editor-in-Chief of both TINC Magazine (Technology Industry News – Chicago) and Chicago Art Magazine.

Here are several interesting points the speakers made during the event, some of which reinforced OR/DP’s view on media relations and some of which seem to be new concepts due to ever-evolving social media outlets:

  • Don’t bother leaving voicemails with media. Due to meetings and appointments throughout the day, they may only have three hours at their desk and have no interest in fielding voicemails. It was noted that some media contacts have interns check voicemails once a week at best.
  • One speaker estimated that she fielded only 20% of e-mail pitches. So how do you create the one in five that gets opened? Be creative with the subject line without burying the lead for the content that is being pitched. Keep e-mail pitches to one paragraph (without attachments) if possible. When pitching by phone, don’t bother introducing yourself. Just get straight to the point of the pitch as you would with an e-mail.
  • Relating to the brevity of pitches, more media contacts are accepting them via social media such as Twitter and Facebook. NBC’s Janicek even welcomed receiving creative pitches via cell phone text messages (if one is lucky enough to get her number).
  • Take the time to review a publication’s content and tie it into your pitches if possible. Media contacts appreciate someone who knows their publication, news program, etc. and takes time to do the research.
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