If you work in the world of PR or are familiar with it at all, you know there is a special relationship (and a delicate dance) that happens between media and publicists.
As Jive’s Co-Founder, I was invited to sit on a panel of media industry experts in Los Angeles at the annual BinderCon Conference last Saturday held at UCLA.
Fellow panelists included:
- Claudia Puig, President LA Film Critics Assn. Film Week critic on NPR’s KPCC and formally USA Today.
- Monica Castillo, film writer for The New York Times the Watching.
- Amy Nicholson, chief film critic for MTV News.
- Li Lu, moderator and independent filmmaker.
What ensued was a lively, informative and inspiring conversation that talks about the importance of cutting through noise when pitching media and knowing your audience.
It’s no shock that journalists are time starved and have hundreds of story options to write about, that’s why Jive was surprised to find out that some people will still pitch media with generic cut and paste email — “Dear Sir or Madam….” OUCH!
In order to help people pitch better (and save media from obnoxious emails), we decided to share a few points I brought up on the panel about ways to successfully pitch media.
The Do’s & Don’t’s
- Do not send cut and past emails (we thought this was a given, but apparently reminders are needed).
- Know what the media you are pitching actually write about. If you are pitching a film critic, don’t pitch them at TV show (unless they cover both beats).
- Show that you know their work – reference a past review or feature that they’ve written and why you think they would be interested in your story as a result.
- Get to the point quick. No one has time to read an essay, make it easy to read and simple to understand.
- Be nice! It’s shocking how many people are rude in their email pitches. The journalist doesn’t owe you anything, be nice and show them that you are the kind of person they want to work with.
All in all, it was a fantastic panel and shows that PR, when done right, can be extremely effective — and when done wrong, well, let’s just say you won’t get that far.
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Jiver Contributor: Lindsay Nahmiache, Jive Partner | Find her on IG! @laughlovelindsay