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4 Mistakes PR Pros Make When Pitching.. and How to Avoid Them

4 Mistakes PR Pros Make When Pitching.. and How to Avoid Them

shutterstock_127844597As PR pros, much of our days is spent pitching our franchise clients to media outlets large and small across multiple platforms. With rapidly shrinking newsrooms, reporters are busier than ever – meaning it’s extra important for public relations teams to maximize their communication time with the media. Here are four common mistakes that PR pros make when pitching – and four ways to avoid them.

Forgetting to research the reporter

We have tools such as Cision at our disposal for easy aggregation of media contacts, but it’s important to take the extra step to visit the publication’s website to ensure that the reporter, editor or producer does indeed still work there. As people switch jobs, media contact aggregators aren’t always updated, and that can mean the difference between your pitch landing in the right hands and it floating off into outer space forever. Take a moment to check out the reporter on Twitter and see what he or she is writing about – this can help you craft your pitch. 

Skipping the editorial calendar

Most magazines and some alternative newspapers and sites publish an editorial calendar for the entire year – you can generally find the calendar through the site map. This will break down the topics the publication will cover for the whole year, meaning you can and should plan ahead and pitch your client for a larger feature that will likely have more pages and graphics dedicated to it – equating to more eyes on your client. The editorial calendar is a seriously underutilized tool that can be used to garner big hits for clients in print publications.

Not checking the day’s news

We’ve seen it time and time again – brands schedule social media posts days in advance, but then big news hits, and an insensitive-seeming message can cost a brand big consumer points. The same holds true for pitching – check Google News and Twitter before sending out a pitch to make sure that your reporter targets’ market isn’t experiencing breaking news. If it is, hold off on pitching until it blows over, or risk your pitching being deleted immediately.

Pitching incorrect, misspelled or irrelevant information

Before hitting send, make sure that your pitch is formatted, spelled and punctuated correctly – and that the information inside is accurate. It’s easy to keep pitching different markets using the same pitch, but it will likely need to be adapted as you change your audience. Take the extra moment to re-read your pitch before you send it on.

When pitching makes up such a large portion of the PR experience, it’s very important to do research before sending a pitch to the media – a properly crafted pitch can mean the difference between having to fight for a story and creating a meaningful, mutually beneficial relationship with a reporter that will last for years.

Account Lead Allie Kramer Shares Social Media Engagement Tips

Account Lead Allie Kramer Shares Social Media Engagement Tips

Screen Shot 2016-10-11 at 4.15.43 PMFor the October seminar, All Points PR Account Lead Allie Kramer discussed some best practices for social media, including how best to interact on behalf of our clients on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest.

As Allie pointed out in her seminar, it’s key to understand the brand voice thoroughly, then translate it into posts for the appropriate audience on each platform. She reminded us to keep posts brief, compelling and easy to understand, supplementing each with multimedia content to help tell the story visually.

Allie also discussed ways to measure engagement so we can quantify our engagement time to our franchise clients, using examples from our current client roster. She showed us how to build Twitter lists to keep a pulse on the news of the day and gave us pointers on how to interact with reporters to secure media opportunities as well.

The All Points team enjoyed the seminar – as social media changes, so do our engagement methods so we can stay ahead of the curve for our clients.

Stay tuned for November’s seminar!

All Points Hits the Headlines

All Points Hits the Headlines

Jamie & LaurenAt All Points, we take great pride in our ability to secure publicity opportunities and press placements for our franchise clients – being able to tell the story of how a business owner came to find his or her entrepreneurial path, or sharing how a community benefits from a new concept is fulfilling on many levels.

We’re proud to say that many franchise and public relations publications consider us a resource and expert source on the franchising, PR, writing, editing and social media topics of the day. To this point, we at All Points have secured some publicity of our own.

From franchise-focused publications such as Canadian Franchising Magazine and Franchise Times to Chicago-area outlets such as Chicago Woman Magazine and the Deerfield Review and industry-specific sites like PR News, All Points has established itself as an authority on topics as diverse as cost-effective marketing solutions, attracting millennial talent and grabbing headlines during tricky news cycles.

We invite you to check out some of our secured press above – we love cultivating relationships with reporters and editors that can benefit our industry community and help share the franchising message we advocate for our clients.

To see more secured press that we’ve garnered for our clients and for All Points, click here.

NIFA Welcomes IFA Chairman Aziz Hashim to September Luncheon

NIFA Welcomes IFA Chairman Aziz Hashim to September Luncheon

Edited 2The Northern Illinois Franchise Association (NIFA), founded by All Points PR’s executive leadership team Jamie and Lauren Izaks alongside friend and colleague Andrew Bleiman, managing attorney with Marks & Klein, one of America’s leading law firms specializing in the franchise industry with a Chicago office, recently hosted its September Luncheon at Sunda in Chicago.

IFA Chairman Aziz Hashim gave a rousing keynote address to a group of almost 60 Chicagoland franchising professionals, centering around how to best educate the general public and business community about the many opportunities afforded to entrepreneurial individuals through franchising. Hashim shared his own personal journey to franchising and business ownership, and inspired all in attendance to focus on spreading the franchising message for greater recognition of all the ways franchising enhances the economy and small business climate.

The example of a two-way mirror was used in Hashim’s speech – he was sitting on one side of the mirror, and on the other side was a focus group being questioned about franchising. Not only were the participants of the group lacking basic understanding about franchising and its role in the business world, but they were unaware that franchising could provide a true business ownership opportunity. As Hashim put it, “it’s going into business for yourself, but not by yourself.”

Hashim’s enlightening keynote address was followed by a delicious lunch, including sushi, grilled miso-glazed salmon and several sweet treats. The crowd networked and mingled in the spacious upper room of Sunda, situated at the center of the bustling River North neighborhood.

Stay tuned for details on the upcoming NIFA fourth-quarter event, and visit to learn more about the organization.

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