The task of pitching media can seem ominous at first. With this tutorial, we want to ease your fears and give you the tools to feel confident getting the press exposure you and your shop deserve. Here are six tips for product pitching success:
Do Your Homework
The more you know about a reporter and their beats (what they cover) the better off you are. Knowing what is timely and topical to them shows that you value their reporting and deserve their attention. And don't just focus on reporters at high-profile newspapers and magazines. These days there are so many bloggers and social media influencers that have engaged followers who might love your product. Start by doing a Google news search for whatever you want to pitch to get a feel of what existing conversations are happening. Then figure out the key voices in that conversation and put them at the top of your pitch list. This may sound extensive, but it will pay off.
Target Multiple Outlets of Varying Size
Make a list of the publications you would like to be featured in. Do you solve a unique need or cater to a specific niche? There are hundreds of blogs and forums specific to almost every topic you can imagine, in addition to the "top tier" outlets we're all familiar with. Don't discount the little guys, often the more specific the subject matter, the more sales a press mention drives. Treat each pitch equally and you'll certainly be rewarded.
Email Reporters/Bloggers Directly
Now that you've done your homework, send a personal email to the writers you want the attention of. Did you love the last piece they wrote on 3D printing? Great, let them know. You can usually find a reporter's contact on the publication's website. Twitter is also an invaluable resource; don't be afraid to check out their social media profiles and like and comment on their posts (if you genuinely like them). This way the writer might recognize your name when it pops up in their inbox.
Be Succinct and to the Point
Alexis Ohanian, founder of Reddit and author of "Without Their Permission," keeps his emails to five sentences or less. You can do this (or close to this) with your emails to press. Most reporters get dozens, if not hundreds, of pitches a day. Be personal, poignant and direct them to your shop so they can do nothing but write about you after seeing your awesome products. At the end of your note be sure to mention that you can send more information and images if that is of interest to them.
Be Aware of Timing
Keep in mind that many magazines run months ahead of schedule. This means you might have to pitch them in June to be included in their holiday issue. Same goes for other big days throughout the year - don't pitch a necklace for Mother's Day the Friday before. Since most news is online these days, you don't have to worry too much about your pitch being time sensitive but reporters get so many pitches they need the time to read them, decide what they want to cover and finish their story. With that said, also be aware that the weeks leading up to Mother's Day might not be the best time to pitch your newest scale model because it could get lost among the other pitches.
Have High-Res Photos on Hand
So you want to go big time? Well the first question a reporter is going to ask after interviewing you is, "do you have an high-res photos of your products?" Likely followed by, "and a headshot?" Do yourself a favor and have both. Product photography (tutorial coming soon) is huge these days, and you don't want to miss out on a great press opportunity because you didn't have a great photo. It's also a good idea to have 1 or 2 products on hand to send to the publication in case they would like to photograph it themselves. In these cases, you would ship it directly to them and then they can send it back when the shoot is done. It translates well in your shop and in the news.
Your best bet for getting reporter's attention is to be patient, persistent and positive. Try not to get frustrated if you don't hear back right away or at all. Some reporters take content and run with it (so make sure you have a Google alert set up for yourself) while others will conduct a thorough interview. Keeping a smile on your face will help with every step of the process.
Let us know when you get featured so we can share it with our community! Don't hesitate to reach out if you want a pitch reviewed or have any questions as you begin press outreach.