There’s no shortage of dating apps on the market – and isn’t that what people would agree dating has become? A swipe of the thumb? But relationships aren’t forged through meet ups. They take research and commitment before the initial face-to-face. You could even say the way you pitch to media is a lot like dating.
Media relations is a process that thrives on building, retaining and sometimes, if something goes awry, repairing relationships. It’s mutually beneficial; both parties get something out of it – like quality coverage (for me and my client or company) and a reliable source (for the reporter or editor). Come to think of it, the process of online dating and pitching are similar, too. Here are a few reasons why.
Pitch Media Like You’re Online Dating:
You get out what you put in.
Regarding relationships, the adage seems to go: “It will happen when you least expect it.” However, the same can’t be said for pitching journalists. Unless you have some prior connection with a reporter that you’ve nurtured over time, there’s a slim chance she’ll proactively reach out seeking one of your experts. So, put yourself out there. If your goal is to secure an interview with a New York Times reporter, give your pitch everything you’ve got. (Hopefully that includes a newsworthy, relevant and timely hook.)
Don’t make it all about you.
Relationships and dating are about balance and compromise. When was the last time you reached out to a reporter just to ask what their needs are? Forcing the same source in their face with no real angle or news hook proves you’re just in the relationship for what you get out of it, and who wants such a one-sided connection? Show them you’re interested in more than just their angles – c’mon!
You know that feeling when you send a text and 24 hours later you still haven’t received a response? That, my friend, is the beginning of what kids these days call “ghosting.” No, it’s not nice, but it’s done – a lot (too much). In reporters’ defense, they get hundreds of irrelevant emails a day and it’s near impossible to respond to each one with a yes or no. So, most often, you get nothing in return. Ghosted. It’s okay, encouraged even, to follow up, especially when you know what you’ve got is what they want. Try not to be overbearing though; that kind of behavior gets you listed on the “do not call” list – in both dating and pitching. Also, make sure when a reporter does reach out asking for additional details or agreeing to an interview that you respond quickly and thoroughly.Like in dating, journalists need time to figure out what type of relationship they’re seeking. Click To TweetJust remember this: Like in dating, journalists need time and space to figure out what type of relationship they’re seeking. If you can’t quite figure out how to approach or court them, we’re here with some expert advice – PR advice, not dating.