The most successful events start with the pitch
Pitching a media advisory is a daunting task, one in which you want to be relevant to the busy editor or reporter you are pitching. There are many news releases, tips or ideas sent to newsrooms every day. dHz Media consultants and writers find your strengths and the stories that make those strengths memorable and use them to make the pitch stand out.
The importance of getting on a TV or Radio stations calendar and having your presence on their radar can not be underestimated. Being in the calendar means your story is there on the day for them to make the decision to send out a camera. This also allows you to follow up with any other representative in the newsroom without any issue of them being unable to follow why you are calling.
We have narrowed the process of pitching a media advisory down to six steps:
- Be sure you know the focus of your story and the outside elements.
- Answer the “tension” question.
- Make it worth the editor/reporter’s time.
- Get your event in the calendar.
- Follow up with the editor/reporter.
- PITCH IT – Make the calls!
Working at an organization such as dHz Media has its advantages when looking for newsworthy elements to tell your story. For example, in February of 2016, Element Lifestyle Retirement Inc. held a groundbreaking ceremony on the site of its new $106 million project, OPAL by element™.
OPAL is a high-density, innovative, intergenerational facility which aims to remove the stigma of a typical “old folks home.” Ultimately, the innovative side of retirement living is truly what makes OPAL a newsworthy story.
However, there is more than just the surface of this story.
A new study came out from a University of British Columbia professor which stated that a quarter of all Vancouver homes could be torn down by 2030.
PHOTO CAPTION: The above link is sped up, test drone footage from the OPAL construction site in the Cambie Corridor. We have a variety of normal speed, broadcast quality footage available for media use. Please contact us if you would like more details.
“You want a confident voice that doesn’t overpower, but informs. Give them the most important information right off the bat and make sure to ask if it’s something they would cover.”Scott Henderson, Managing Director, dHz Media
These two facts alone are enough to see that OPAL is an important factor in generating revenue in the housing market. There is also the issue of the aging baby boomer generation looking for reliable housing close to family, another achievable factor for OPAL. These are the additional elements to compliment your main concept.
The tension is what makes the story have meaning, as in why it is (a) happening now and why it is (b) important now. By the time you are able to discuss these additional elements, you should have found your tension and it needs to be clear and concise within the pitch.
Make your pitch appealing to market audiences of the media outlets you are pitching. If the audience is a real estate publication appeal to the concepts listed above in regards to housing. However, if the audience is a lifestyle publication, address the family angle and the fact that this development is innovative. It’s not just another seniors home due to the intergenerational approach.
Address why the story is worth their time. For example, with OPAL’s groundbreaking event, there was drone footage which was fully accessible by any member of the media. Having this kind of extra available resource can make a difference between a news organization showing up or not.
And call them back. Call the news organizations back, not just the ones who have committed but those who haven’t. For those who are coming, make sure you give them all the information whether it be free parking, areas where they could focus, and what time each event will be happening to ensure they know that it will be a hassle-free experience for them.
Ultimately, the OPAL groundbreaking was a big event for element™. We worked with element™ to achieve a high level of interest in the event and that resulted in CBC TV, City TV and Fairchild TV attending the event.
It is with these tips listed above and a positive attitude when pitching your story, that you can be successful when pitching a media advisory.