9 Juicy 'Extras' to Offer Journalists That Can Instantly Sweeten Any PR Pitch
The next time you pitch a story idea about your company to a journalist, broadcaster or blogger, offer a tempting "extra" that might set it apart from competitors.
Here are nine juicy suggestions that journalists find particularly irresistible:
1. Make a quiz. Bloggers love quizzes. And so do magazines. Keep them short -- typically no more than seven questions. True or false and multiple choice formats work best. Always be sure to provide answers, as well as a way for readers to grade themselves. If a print publication doesn't have room for your quiz, suggest they link to your website.
2. Host a Twitter chat. An editor -- or readers -- can thus ask questions to your expert in a public forum. Limit the chat to one hour, and remind the host to create a unique hashtag to make it easy for people to find.
3. Conduct a Skype interview. Print media entities love to offer video components online to help pull traffic. Offer a Skype interview, which can be recorded ahead of time.
At the Washington Post, some reporters are hosting their own shows outside of the newspaper's paywall, and they welcome Skype interview pitches.
If you're pitching an expert from within your company, make sure they are comfortable on video and have access to a high-quality camera.
4. Design an infographic. Several web tools make creating infographics a snap. I like Piktochart and Easelly. Each requires very little effort and offers free templates as well as additional paid options.
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5. Pilot a beta test. Handpick about a half dozen or so of your favorite bloggers and ask them to try whatever you’re launching. This gives them a chance to provide valuable feedback before you take the product to market. It also helps them to write a more comprehensive story.
6. Offer a tour. And not just any tour. Find a way to make it special. When I started my job as a newspaper editor, for instance, a local businessman invited me to tour the county while seated next to him in his private plane. I also toured a salt mine once while seated in a golf cart.
Journalists welcome behind-the-scenes factory tours, especially if they’re not open to the public. Whenever possible, let camera crews tag along, too.
7. Provide B-roll. Offer TV reporters video content that can accompany the footage they shot. For example, B-roll might show your assembly line, your employees at work or people shopping in your store. If you have a YouTube channel, review your videos and offer any clips that might serve as background for the larger story.
8. Give background. If writers aren't familiar with your industry, offer helpful information that can give some context. This could include white papers written by your experts, industry research reports, podcasts or articles from other non-competing publications that have covered you.
If your blog has specific posts that could help in this respect, offer URLs. You might even have an interesting Pinterest board that illustrates a certain topic.
9. Share old photos. Pitching a story about your company's 50th anniversary? Offer a half dozen old photos that show what the company has looked like throughout the years. A magazine writing a profile about your CEO might welcome her high school yearbook photo, or a photo of her working at her first job.
If you want publicity, you must make it as easy as possible for someone to cover your story. Offer one of these extras, and you'll brand yourself as a helpful source.