We are a public relations and marketing agency located in Fort Collins, Colorado focused on making our clients ridiculously happy. Whether it’s landing an impressive media hit for a client or exceeding key performance indicators (KPI), we win when our clients win, and we like to win big! Part of winning big, at least on the public relations side of things, is to land amazing media placements. You may or may not know this, but that is actually quite a feat! We figured we would ask the question, what is the reasoning behind why pitches don’t get a response? We did some digging and will share some key tips in getting your response rates up!
Far too often, we get asked the infamous question, “What exactly is public relations?” Well, folks, it’s your lucky day! We are here to crack the code on what public relations is and why, even after hours upon hours spent on perfecting the perfect press release and pitch, agencies hear nothing but crickets from the other end.
What is public relations?
In the simplest form, public relations is a strategic communication process that builds mutually beneficial relationships between organizations and their publics. What the means is, we take valuable information or news our client wants the general public to know and craft it into an engaging piece of content that is then sent to various media outlets in relevant locations. While that may sound like a walk in a park, it is a much more grueling task than it appears to be. We have discovered the secret sauce as to why sometimes a story we pitch out, that we think is solid gold, gets no pickup from the media, and we are going to give you a look inside.
What is a pitch?
We are well aware that we tend to talk in lingo (oops!), so let us break it down for you. A pitch is a public relations expert’s bread and butter. After crafting the perfect press release with all of the necessary information provided, we have one shot to get that press release into the hands of our top-tier media outlets. This is the first piece of writing a reporter or media outlet will read. From there, they will quickly draw a conclusion as to whether or not they will even read the press release. If the pitch is vague, too long or doesn’t get right to the point, the odds of the media running it is close to none. You may be thinking to yourself, well then what makes a good pitch and catches the reporter’s eye? We’re glad you asked.
What makes a good pitch?
A good pitch tells the reporter everything they need to know in just a few short sentences. It also tells not only why it matters but why it matters to them specifically. At the end of the day, it is about making the reporter’s job easier and telling them why this piece of writing will benefit them and their audience. Now that you’re up to speed on why pitching is so important, it’s time to get down to the nitty-gritty. Here are a few hacks that will help take your skills to the next level.
Why pitches don’t get a response
It can be challenging to pinpoint why pitches don’t get a response. It could be a variety of reasons, some of which might be out of your control. As you’re reflecting on your efforts, ask yourself if any of these challenges could be the culprit:
- Breaking news always takes priority. If there is a national emergency or a developing story, hold off on pitching your press release until those stories have mellowed out.
- You can’t make a journalist love you, no matter how many sweets you send their way. Some reporters are just tough and have tunnel vision. (Don’t let them get you down, eat some of those sweets for yourself and get back on the horse!)
- It’s just not newsworthy. Even though you know the story deserves coverage, some outlets have specific topics they are looking to cover. Do your research and keep an eye out for trends, seasonality and the right contacts suited for you and your client.
How can your pitch get a response, or, better yet, a placement?
Don’t worry, you will get placements and reach your clients’ goals. All you have to do is remember a few helpful tips:
- PR is a snowball effect. It is not an overnight process. However, like a snowball, stories eventually gain volume and momentum over time. Be patient.
- Reporters are people too. Relationships are everything when it comes to public relations. Make sure you nurture those relationships and go the extra mile to show the reporter you care.
- PR is a 24/7 job. Sometimes getting media placements means late nights, early mornings and even weekends to pull it across the finish line. It may seem never-ending when you’re in the thick of it, but it will all be worth it in the end!
Okay, that may seem like a lot to remember and implement each day, but if you practice it enough, it will become second nature. Then when someone asks you, “why pitches don’t get a response,” you can answer it with ease!
If you’re wanting incredible placement for your company but just aren’t sure you’re cut out for the task, we’ve got you covered. Let us do what we do best while you sit back and watch the placements roll in. Ready to rock? Let’s get started.