INK U: Media Training Addition

  • January 23, 2015
  • Kim Mackley

Here at INK we LOVE to learn. I work with some of the most absorbent brain sponges around. When we aren’t diving deep into some type of sophisticated technology (can you say proprietary-orchestration-and-automation-technologies five times fast?) in order to share our clients’ stories, we are learning about new tools, practices, shortcuts and lifehacks. We are definitely a house full of teacher’s pets. One of the favorite parts of my job is helping to support INK U. by making sure the meaningful (and sometimes menial), content keeps on flowin’.

Last week, we had a fantastic in-house media relations workshop led by our friend Rebekah Epstein over at Fifteen Media. It was a great way for some of our newer INKers to hone their pitching skills and a fun opportunity for our veterans to share their best practices. Like the mother office hen that I am (shout out to Henrietta), I used my bossypants voice to “encourage” everyone to share some favorite takeaways from the session.

Allyson –
PR is a sprint not a marathon. It’s also important to remember why we do what we do, PR is about building credentials  – for investors, exposure and building trust for consumers.

Ariel –
Look for stories beyond the typical product release announcement and dig into business inspiration, leadership style, company culture, and expert advice. When you pitch, include 4-5 different story ideas – cast a wider net to give editors options and angles.

Caitlin –
Get to the point in the first sentence or two and have the “ask” up top in your pitch. We’re all busy and no one likes to scroll all day.

Rachel –
Be creative with how you identify stories. Having them grouped and subdivided can help a lot, you could even make them into a checklist to make sure no stone is left unturned.

Ryan –
Keep pitches short and tell the reporter what you want. Stay up-to-date on publications from both a content and reporter perspective. You have to know who is writing about what and where they are, so be on top of current events.

Shelley –
Know who to pitch to and check out people’s titles. Resource pitch reporters for quotes, contributed content pitches to editors and don’t forget about freelancers.  Add multiple story ideas to one pitch for a better chance of one of those ideas landing. Follow up with new information/new story angles. Take a minute and write a handwritten thank you note for big placements, who doesn’t like a nice thank you note?

As for myself, I love Rebekah’s reminder that radio is still alive and podcasts are hot. I’m buying a round for any INKer that can land our clients a spot on my favorite NPR show “All Things Considered.”

Rebekah also reminded me of how important INK’s custom process approach is (no fast-food PR!), toward not only our clients, but our media friends as well. Rebekah reminded me to make sure we are taking enough time to allow for that creative space around each client, campaign, or event. You can’t rush creativity, even if you have a deadline.

Do you have the secret formula for the perfect pitch? What are your media relations best practices?

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