Last week, Mat Honan—a tech writer for Wired—revealed in a post on his personal blog that he had been hacked. Within hours, every major tech site was covering the story. Talented PR professionals had capitalized on his story—pitch angles swirled of “Lessons Learned from the Mat Honan Disaster.” By carefully crafting their pitches, those PR pros were able to tell the story of their client by making it relevant to a hot news item.
In order to grab the media’s attention, as was done with Mat Honan’s story, you must transform your client’s story (no matter how enticing… or drab) into information that is extremely relevant to your targeted outlet.
In order to kick-start your relevancy angle, answer these questions with your client’s story in mind:
Have you done your research on the outlet?
Not to sound like your middle school history teacher, but research is key to relevancy. Take the time to research the outlet you are pitching. For example, one tech website may like to highlight tips from experts in the field, while another may only do trend pieces. If you’re equipped with this information, you can adjust your angle to meet the sites’ specific needs. This is also an excellent way to create lasting relationships with the media. Pitching story angles that fit their format will make you a loved PR resource!
Have you included too many insignificant details?
Kill the fluff—you aren’t writing the whole piece. Your responsibility is to get the angle across without spiraling into a full-fledged explanation complete with statistics and supporting documentation. Find your angle and portray it as simply as possible. If you are pitching the media via email, stick to the three short paragraph rule. Do you enjoy reading an essay style email? No (no one does), so keep it simple and compelling!
Have you read the news today?
Pick up a copy of USA Today with your morning coffee and spend the first few minutes of your morning flipping through the national newspaper. What could be more relevant than tying your client’s story to a current news trend? Also consider your chosen outlet’s location. If your story could have a regional angle, explore the local news of that region for trends.
Making a client story newsworthy can be a fun challenge, but as you can see, often requires magical amounts of creativity and ingenuity!
Want to generate relevant, trend-related coverage for your tech or lifestyle brand? Contact Julie Zaitz to get BLASTmedia on the job!
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