Making a Story Pitch Takes Talent

How do you start the conversation?

publicity is like sellingProfessional publicity people know how to contact the media, know how to start a conversation and probably know what angle to present to the reporter. But do they really? Chances are these top publicity people get through the clutter by knowing the media on a personal basis. I don’t mean they go drinking together (or maybe they do), I mean they have built a long-term business relationship making it easier to contact them.

For the other pr firms and pr individuals, who make up about 75% of the publicity world, think about how you can improve your pitch to a reporter or publisher and get that article or press release published.

It’s all in the sales effort. Notice how different sales people get through and those who just never seem to. That’s because they have taught themselves over the years the fine art of salesmanship (or saleswomen ship).

I know of a great person who has taught thousands of people the art of "opening doors". You may have heard of Ari Galper. He has a web site called

I am not trying to sell you on him. And I am not getting any commissions either. I know that he has a clear understanding how to get into meeting with people, usually by phone. But it just isn’t the sales tools that he teaches. If you apply what he explains to your publicity activities, you will be a better individual and in the long run it will help your pr clients as well as yourself.

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Publicity Tip #2431

Photos can make a you look better

When you write a release, or better yet, an article to pitch to the media, it is a good idea to include photos.

Wow, what a great idea, bet this isn’t original! You’re right, but read further to learn what I mean about including photos.

Believe it or not, most pitches are only text that the media receive. Just adding good quality photos can make your story become more interesting to the reporter because now you are providing a visual.

This alone needs to be given careful thought. Just as you want the story you are writing to not look like an ad to the reporter, you need to plan the types of photos to include.

One publicist, Joan Stewart, wrote an article on this subject. She gives you about 11 tips on what to look for when shooting photos to be included in your pitch.

What I like about her article, her advice goes beyond what to take for photos. Joan provides tips on what not to do. Such as groundbreaking, or ribbon ceremonies. These are overdone, and unless you are a major real estate developer, or a high profile company, forget these types of stories and photos.

Your publicity campaign and all your public relations activities should be part of the overall business and marketing plan. There will always be some last minute pr projects that your pr client’s need created immediately. It is the master marketing plan that should set the guidelines for all the publicity. Be sure you have a solid database of the reporters, editors and publications you want to target.

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