The first rule of how to pitch: there are no rules. There are suggestions for a course of action, but observing them as a sort of public relations 10 commandments and ignoring both direct signals and the advent of modern technology is a surefire way to fail. Some sweet, blessed times, all it really takes is a simple email out of the blue. Frequently, it does not.
After that, the suggested course of action in this PR-choose-your-own-adventure is “call-down” to “follow-up” (yay, prepositions!). “Follow-up” is really just an extremely abstract, loose concept defined more by its outcome then its action (in other words, the act of following up means little to anyone compared to the outcome of getting a result). Sure, sometimes a call to a reporter is a quick, efficient way to get their attention and hook them with your angle. Other times, you’ll take a cursory glance at a reporter’s Twitter before said call and find something like this:
Then it is time to stop and think before dialing, my friends. What is our goal? Results and happy media contacts, and the above are pretty clear indicators that this is not the way to get them.
That does not, however, mean to give up. Poke around, do your research and go with your gut.
For example, we’ve found the best way to get many reporters’ attention these days is a DM:
And Snapchat is no longer just for selfies with your roommates:
Sometimes, they even give you your own hotline:
One reporter even mentioned that his favorite pitch of all time was texted to him in verse. (Note: we don’t personally recommend this unless you’re feeling particularly confident in your rhyming chops and the receiving reporter’s appreciation for you artistic efforts.)
Moral of the story? Media relations is not ‘one channel fits all.’ Remember that you’re trying to reach a fellow human being. Do your research, think, and be creative.
Check back tomorrow as we examine another PR industry myth. Screenshot credit: Twitter, obviously