PRspectives BLOG

3 Ways Prevent Your Pitch from Being Deleted

3 Ways Prevent Your Pitch from Being Deleted

Blog ImagePitching the media can sometimes feel like throwing mud at the wall to see what sticks – but with a little preparation, your email pitch can go from a shot in the dark to a sure thing. Here are three ways to prevent your pitch from certain death in the trash folder.

Craft an appealing subject line

The subject line is the first thing the reporter will see upon receiving your email – so make it count. The average subject line is only 32 characters long so keep it brief and punchy, avoiding any words that seem overly spammy such as “free,” “gift,” “offer” or “quote.” Remember, you’re trying to lure them into opening the email, not tell the entire story in one line.

Adequately research the reporter

Before formulating your pitch, do a quick search on the reporter you’re targeting – check his or her Twitter pages to see what he or she is writing about and interested in. Research the publication and dig up some of the reporter’s most recent pieces of work. This gives you very specific background information that can help you make an initial connection. Finally, note the spelling of the reporter’s name – nothing is worse than addressing a pitch to the wrong person – or to the right person, but incorrectly spelled.

Personalize the pitch

If you’re a veteran pitch creator, you’ve probably fine-tuned your pitch-writing system – but take a moment to personalize the pitch to the specific person – and publication. Don’t simply copy and paste a generic pitch into an email and hit send – reporters can always tell when they’re just one on a list of many. Reference the publication in your pitch and suggest specific columns where this story might be a good fit. Consider the tone of the publication, and mirror it in your pitch.

Reporters have a limited amount of time each day to read and respond to pitches, so make sure yours is at the top of the inbox by creating a compelling subject line, doing some research on your targeted reporter and taking a few minutes to personalize the pitch itself.

All Points PR Team Learns Best Practices from FranTech Conference

All Points PR Team Learns Best Practices from FranTech Conference

14581344_1276383835727711_6262441677628570962_nFor the November seminar, All Points PR Senior Digital & Creative Account Lead Whitney Sirard and President Jamie Izaks discussed their findings from the FranTech conference earlier in the month in Austin, Texas, including how the increasing digitization of the world of business presents new opportunities and challenges for the franchising industry and our clients.

The conference merged franchising and technology, and our team that attended had several important takeaways, including a deeper understanding of the speed of change in digital marketing and how it pertains to the work we do at All Points. Another point illustrated well during the seminar was the growing valuation of entirely digital companies such as Uber over long-standing companies with a tangible product such as Ford – Uber is valued more than three times as highly as Ford.

In addition, the All Points team learned about new advancements in social technology – including the optimal size, length, clarity and frequency of embedded videos, increased LinkedIn optimization and analytics and more.

Overall, the team enjoyed the seminar – as the digital and social landscape of the franchising industry, so does the way we work for and with our clients.

Stay tuned for December’s seminar!

NIFA Announces Upcoming Luncheon Featuring Ryan Smolkin on Dec. 1

NIFA Announces Upcoming Luncheon Featuring Ryan Smolkin on Dec. 1

NIFA Save the Date_Q4 '16The 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, is hosting its December Luncheon, to be held Dec. 1 from noon – 2 p.m. at Intro in Lincoln Park. A truly unique restaurant concept, Intro features a rotating roster of notable chefs who bring their own food style to the chic spot.

We’re excited to announce that the December Luncheon will feature keynote speaker Ryan Smolkin, and will be sponsored by event sponsor BMO Harris and valet sponsor Honkamp Krueger.

Ryan is best known as the nonconformist CEO of internationally acclaimed Smoke’s Poutinerie, whose creativity, innovation and unorthodox approach to business and franchising has turned the concept into a global phenomenon. He has a storied background in big brand marketing, leading the charge for brands such as Nike, Molson and Maple Leaf Sports. Ryan will discuss “Communicating the Brand: How Strong Brand Identity Can Electrify Growth.”

For more information about the December Luncheon, visit www.northernilfranchise.org. If you’re in the Chicagoland area or will be Dec. 1, we would be delighted to see you there! Please click here to secure your spot.

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.

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