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When you're working on PR pitches to the media between major events or product launches, you may wish you had a magic spell up your sleeve. Your job is essentially to conjure something valuable - favorable coverage - out of thin air.
It's time to believe in magic. This kind of hype-building is possible, and in a world where a slim spin-off book can be optioned into a multi-film franchise of ready-made blockbusters, it should be obvious that PR departments and agencies can accomplish amazing feats.
Without further ado, here's your public relations spellbook, a fantastical spin on the very real concepts you should know. Just in time for the recent release of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, this is your guide to tracking down the most elusive and powerful elixir your brand can hope for: favorable, earned coverage in independent publications.
When it's time to think of a pitch topic that will win you coverage between product or earnings announcements, you don't need supernatural intuition, just access to a publication's editorial calendar. The Business Journals recently pointed out that these lists of upcoming topics aren't closely guarded secrets, and many outlets include them in the PR and media kit sections of their sites.
If you know what kind of topics the publication is planning to delve into next, you can take one of those ideas as a hook, crafting a pitch that incorporates your product and becomes a great feature for the news source in question. Communication with the outlet is also totally acceptable. Get the details about what kind of pitches will perform best, then make one that fits the description.
When sorcerers want to get a message across, they can replicate their letters, sending a flood of mail that becomes a huge nuisance. That's not to say you should adopt this tactic - in fact, you should do the opposite. Remember that getting hundreds of copies of the same message via owl post can be hugely irritating for people who don't want to read the contents. PR Daily explained that when you send repeated emails to reporters who aren't interested, you're on track to be ignored.
Relevance is the key, so be sure to send your owl (or in this case, email) only to a journalist who covers the enclosed topic, and only sparingly. You want to make sure you're seen as a valuable source instead of a bother. If you're sending huge batches of messages to long lists of recipients in the hopes of getting noticed, that's a sure sign that you haven't thought enough about who the target audience is. Time to put the owls back in their cages and return to the drawing board.
Even in the magical world of PR pitches, there's no such thing as time travel. If you send a pitch too late to make a reporter's deadline, that's it - it's not getting picked up. This is why PR Daily explained that the pitching process should be scheduled around when media outlets can put out their stories. Internal deadlines can always be adjusted - it's other people's time restrictions that you can't change.
Not only should you get your pitches in before outlets go to press, you should hand all your materials in with time to spare. If journalists don't have enough time to create a good piece around your proposal, it won't make the cut.
Just as it would be foolish to chase down a dragon without a magical wand, a fast broomstick and the right collection of potions, you shouldn't pursue your PR strategy without high-quality tools. Your magical power comes from technology, and if your department or agency is operating without a modern and heavily automated media intelligence solution, you may be missing out on serious benefits.
When you have the right technology, you know about news and events that are happening anywhere in the world, on any form of media. From cutting-edge social platforms to the staples such as television and print, you can take the pulse of every one of these venues. When you're aware of everything affecting your brand and industry, you'll be able to conjure relevant and compelling pitches at any time - just like magic.
After you landed your story, don't let your magic go unnoticed. Share your wizardry with your powers that be with a set of campaign data and dashboards that highlight the results of your campaigns.