The Benefits of Adding Video to Your Content Marketing Strategy

The Benefits of Adding Video to Your Content Marketing Strategy

Video as a Rising Social Medium

According to Cisco, video will account for 69% of all consumer traffic by 2017. Both current statistics and trend predictions like this one indicate video’s rapid rise as a social medium. It’s clear that marketers need to include it in their content strategy in order to provide maximum exposure for their businesses.

 

What Does Video Bring to a Content Marketing Strategy?

  • Maximized engagement
  • Cross-device targeting
  • Brand authenticity and communication on a human level
  • Cross-promotion with digital marketing initiatives

Even Small- and Medium-Sized Businesses Can Leverage Video Marketing

One of the factors fueling video’s growing popularity is the decrease in production costs. With the advent of video cameras on mobile phones and desktops, wearable cameras like GoPros, and single-camera, documentary-style footage, great videos can be made at a fraction of budgets deemed necessary just 5 years ago.

With a lowered barrier to entry, video isn’t just for enterprise businesses with enterprise budgets. In fact, Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg stated that over 1.5 million small businesses posted video on Facebook in the month of September alone in 2015.

When the opportunity for relevant video content presents itself, companies of all sizes should seize it. Here’s an example of how Zer0 to 5ive recently helped a client take advantage of such an opportunity to create a compelling video series.

Carnegie Mellon University: The Spotlight Series

Carnegie Mellon University’s School of Computer Science (CMU SCS) wished to showcase their innovative programs and visionary research to attract the world’s top undergraduates, graduates and faculty. CMU SCS faculty is teaching the next generation of computer scientists, working with industry leaders, developing new forms of AI, and building care-giving robots to best learn how to help people in need. In highlighting these impressive endeavors, the Spotlight Series was born.

 

Tips on How to Promote and Cross-Promote Video Content

After post-production, how can a marketer best promote and cross-promote video content online? Author Andrew Macarthy provides the following tips in his bestseller, 500 Social Media Marketing Tips.

Tips for Facebook

  • Because videos auto-play on silent, hook viewers with a striking visual within the first 3 seconds
  • Upload SRT caption files with your video to broadcast your message even while muted
  • Keep your video to approximately 30 seconds for optimum viewer engagement
  • Upload video to Facebook natively, as opposed to sharing it from YouTube, in order to increase reach
  • Via the Video tab, organize your videos into playlists, tag people, and add descriptive labels

Tips for YouTube

  • Keep your video to approximately 3 minutes for optimum viewer engagement
  • Include keywords at the front of your video title and branding at the end
  • Tag your video with keywords and keyword phrases in quotations
  • Take advantage of YouTube’s interactive cards, the evolution of annotations
  • If you have a series of videos, add all of them to a dedicated playlist so they run continuously and indicate the series name in the title of each video

Tips for Cross-Promotion

  • Embed video in blog posts
  • Embed a YouTube Subscribe channel widget on your website, which is also a way to advertise your video content and YouTube activity
  • Tweet about your video with relevant hashtags, making sure to include “Video:” before the title
  • Comment on other videos your audience is watching to increase your brand awareness

Now may be a great time for you to start considering video if you haven’t already. The benefits will continue to grow as demand rapidly increases, so why not take the leap now? You can start small and build up to a more robust content plan as your skills improve and as you get feedback from your prospects and customers.

Don’t Join Social Media! Unless It’s for the Right Reasons

We’re all guilty of jumping on the bandwagon once or twice in our lives (maybe more?), whether it was pairing socks with your Birkenstocks, bleaching your hair so you could be more like Eminem, or jumping into Snapchat without a clue. Sometimes it works out and sometimes it doesn’t, but that’s what it is to be human. In business though, joining the latest trend without considering all of the elements and possible effects can be costly or, even worse, damage your brand.


In the book 500 Social Media Marketing Tips, author Andrew Macarthy discusses the one big mistake that many businesses make with social media: joining social media sites just because everyone else is doing so. When businesses join these sites without understanding what they are doing or why, it can lead to unrealistic goal-setting, poor results, wasted time and squandered resources.


To avoid such consequences, here are five key considerations your business should make before using social media:

  1. Decide which social networks suit your brand: The social media sites that work best for your business will be those where your target audience already hangs out. For example, if you are a B2B company, your target audience will most likely be present on LinkedIn and Twitter, as opposed to platforms like Instagram or Pinterest.

  2. Define and evaluate your goals: Before posting content on your social media platforms, identify the goals you would like to reach using the SMART technique. With this method, you will determine the Specific goals you want to reach, as well as how your goals are Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time specific.

  3. Shape your content strategy: Before you begin your social media marketing, take the time to perform an audit, identifying your audience along with what problems you can help solve, what questions you can answer, what type of content they prefer (i.e. text, photo, graphics, video) and when they are most likely to be around to see it. You should also use this time to determine what your competition is doing on social media.

  4. Plan content in advance: Developing a social media content calendar allows you to plan your social media for weeks and even months in advance. For example, you can plan to promote blog posts on Monday, ask your audience questions on Tuesdays, share relevant infographics on Wednesdays, etc. Planning ahead will also allow you to incorporate relevant holidays, awareness days, and important company events and milestones. However, be sure to leave room for spontaneous posts too.

  5. Understand that social media requires a lot of time: In order for social media marketing to be successful, it will require a significant investment of time over the long haul. Typically, at least 12-15 hours per week should be spent planning, creating, and scheduling content, as well as measuring results and engaging customers. Hence the importance of selecting your platforms wisely and not spreading yourself too thin!

These five considerations will help you begin to understand what kind of approach to social media works for your business. Whether you need to boost brand recognition, connect with new customers or increase traffic to your website, social media can be a cost-effective way to achieve your goals. Although it takes a lot of time and effort, social media can be well worth it when it’s done right.


By Maggie Markert

Tips for Partnering with your PR & Marketing Firm to Maximize Results

Whether you are redesigning your company’s website, developing event collateral, or implementing a PR program, an outside agency can be your most valuable resource. However, it’s critical that you, as the client, guide them on the path to success and stay involved so that your agency gets the direction they need to really shine, and you get the results you want. Here are some tips to maximize your agency relationship.



Define Success


Work with your agency and all major internal stakeholders to outline the deliverables and qualities of those deliverables. Get specific about what measurable objectives you can expect from your agency. Share examples of other brands, websites or articles with your agency for review so they better understand what success looks like to you. An outline of your goals will serve as the guiding framework for the project, and will be a helpful resource as the project evolves.



Collaborate & Communicate


Perhaps the reason you hired an agency in the first place is because you are just too busy with other priorities. In that case, delegate oversight and day-to-day communication to an internal partner that you trust! Your agency will need information and feedback that only an internal resource and industry expert can provide. From proposal to kickoff to execution – stakeholder input is key to making sure that the project is successful and drives results. Like with any other business partnership, collaboration and consistent communication from both agency and client is key.



Be Direct and Specific


Be as specific as possible when giving feedback throughout the project lifecycle, but particularly at the beginning of a project. Not sure what you need or what you are looking for exactly? That’s completely okay! Your agency should have experience and be able to make recommendations. During the process, be specific about what you like or don’t like. Communication and iteration are critical to achieving the very best results, so don’t hesitate to ask for another option or to see something presented in a different way.



Trust the Experts


Set a tone of trust. As much as your agency team needs and wants your input, remember that they are the experts in their field and fully understand best practices and strategies to achieve the best results for you. Trust your agency to do what they do best – to produce creative, compelling and effective work. If you’ve been engaged from the beginning, then the collaboration should be apparent. In the case where you think the results are off base or the team has missed the mark in some way, there’s no harm in a targeted course correct. You and your agency are a team!



Whatever your role, your agency relationship can be a secret weapon. Armed with the right information, agencies can be a strategic partner that brings significant value to the relationship.



 

By Lizzie Beggs

@lizziebeggs

How to Rock Your Next Media Tour

Your client is about to make a big announcement or wants to promote the company’s latest campaign. You know what that means…time to plan another media tour. The question is, how do you make the most of the time and effort that goes into setting up a tour?

 

Below are some tips you can use to help your client look like a rock star.

  1. Time it Right – Give yourself four to six weeks to pitch the media. You need time to draft your pitch, research the appropriate media contacts, conduct the outreach and follow up. It’s rare that you’ll get responses on the first round of pitching. Getting answers from the media can take some persistence.The time of year is also important to consider. You can’t book your client on a national talk show in the summer since they are on re-runs. Are you trying to book a guest during sweeps? Will you be competing with the holidays? An election? Make sure you are aware of the date(s) that you’re selecting so you can be sure to get the most open schedule possible.
  2. Hone in on Your Targets – If you are planning a media tour in NYC, the types of media available to pitch can seem limitless. Try to hone in on what your dream day of interviews for your client would look like, and go from there. Who is the audience you are trying to reach? Are they more accessible by radio, TV, Internet or traditional print media? You’ll probably find it will be a mixture. Quality is more important than quantity when building your media list. Make sure you’re approaching the right contact.
  3. Plan – I always add a schedule tab to my media list where I keep track of confirmed and tentative interview dates and times. This allows me to see at a glance what the day(s) are looking like in real time. Don’t schedule interviews too close together. This prevents stress if the first interview of the day runs late, eating into and delaying the rest of they day’s interviews. This is especially important when working with broadcast for live TV or radio. Ask your media contact how long they estimate the interview taking, if you need to arrive early and for any special instructions when you arrive.
  4. Put Pen to Paper – Before every media tour, draft a briefing book, which should include every possible detail. Items for the briefing book include: the schedule at-a-glance, a one-pager for each interview with media outlet info, contact info (including cell phone), sample interview questions, social media handles and key messages. Don’t forget to include details of accommodations and transportation as well. Share the book with your client as soon as possible so he/she can prepare as well.
  5. Be Flexible – You have your briefing book in hand and your schedule confirmed. You’re all set, right? Not exactly. Be prepared for change as the media tour will never follow the schedule exactly as you’ve laid it out. Without fail, your client will miss their train, an interview will run over or any number of things will happen. Don’t panic. Remember, you’re prepared with all your contacts’ cell phone numbers. A quick call can get you back on track.
  6. Show Off – You did the work, now show it off! A great wrap-up report is something you can prepare in advance and have ready to add in last-minute details. Plan to send within a day after the tour is complete. Make sure to include the number of interviews secured, interviewer and outlet, impressions and any social media activity. Also include any clips that have been published and the anticipated dates for those that are pending.

 

Conducting a media tour is no easy task. You’ll undoubtedly spend more time planning and logistics than you ever thought possible. If you plan well enough though, it will all be worth it when you get great results for your client!

 

The role of research in media relations

In PR, it is always best to have the facts on your side. From pitching a new client to building a strategic communications plan to finding the right media pitch targets, research plays a critical supporting role in helping you to make smart, informed recommendations.

There are various types of research involved in PR: primary research, which can be focus groups, phone interviews, online surveys; and secondary research, which includes market and industry research, news tracking, competitive analysis, media and analyst audits, and media/social media analysis and more. Each of these tools can provide PR professionals with important information to inform your overall business and communications strategies.

At Zer0 to 5ive, we start every client engagement with research, because we believe that the best marketing and public relations programs are well informed.

Here are some of the ways that research can help improve your PR practice:

The New Client Pitch – Know your client, its competitors, its market, who covers them, and where they have been covered. All of this information and knowledge is based on research that should be conducted prior to any client pitch meeting. While secondary research is a must, primary research can also be very valuable. For example – when pitching a new client, conducting a consumer survey or interviewing target customers can add an additional level of insight and win points with a perspective client.

The PR Plan – When you are building the PR plan, research helps you strategize and set realistic goals, and will help ensure that your messaging is relevant and compelling. Making recommendations based on research – why you chose a specific target audience, how you came up with the tagline, why you are targeting a certain tradeshow for launch – will enable you to answer the client question: “Why are you recommending this strategy?” By conducting the appropriate amount of research, you will be able to support your recommendations with confidence.

The Media Pitch – Both the pitch and the media targets should be well researched. Who are you targeting? What type of stories do they write? How do they like to communicate? And when writing the pitch research can make it more compelling. What’s trending in the industry? Can you use metrics or statistics in your pitch to make it more relevant? Client-sponsored primary research, from online surveys or focus groups, for example, is also great fodder for media. You can package this research in an infographic or press release to help promote your client.

These are just some of the many ways that research helps to support the work we do here at Zer0 to 5ive. How do you use research in your PR program?

Post by Jennifer Moritz, Prinicpal

5 Tips for Building Relationships with Media

I think it’s fair to say that at some point in everyone’s public relations career, they’ve employed some form of the “spray and pray” pitching method. Shooting a press release or pitch out to everyone on a media list to see who bites can work on occasion, but a much more strategic and long-lasting approach is to create relationships with reporters.

I’m lovingly known around the office as the “media stalker.” Don’t worry, I haven’t crossed any lines, but it’s hard to be ignored when you feel that you have crafted the perfect pitch to the perfect reporter. So, when emails and phone calls don’t work, I often turn to alternative methods like social media, which often turns out well!

When the opportunity to listen in on a Webinar hosted by PR Newswire titled “You had me at Hello,” aimed at discussing the delicate PR/media relationships arose, I jumped at the chance.

While I was already aware of most of the tips provided, it served as a great reminder. I’ve outlined the top 5 takeaways from the presentation for you:

1. Create the relationship before you need the relationship

Everyone knows someone in their life that only reaches out when they need a favor. You don’t want to be that person. Instead, initiate a conversation with reporters before your breaking news hits. Offer introductory interviews with your clients. Provide the media some form of value, such as a third-party resource, before jumping in and asking them to cover your client.

2. Do your research

Have you ever reached out to what looks like the perfect contact in a media database only to get a response asking to be removed from your list? Although a great resource, sometimes keywords provided in media database searches can be misleading.

We’re lucky that we are now able to get insights about reporters through social media. Knowing your target by looking at previous coverage and reviewing their Twitter account is more important than ever. For every one journalist, there are 4.6 PR professionals trying to get their clients exposure. Uncover what the journalist’s interests are and what they’re currently covering, before connecting with them.

Google Alerts have been a great resource for me to find out who is reporting on the topic that I want covered. I’m then able to reference their recent piece, which provides the reporter with confidence that I follow their work.

3. Be a resource

You’ve found the right contact, you’re ready to engage in a mutually beneficial relationship, now what? Introduce yourself as a resource. The more assets you have ready to go, the better. This can include industry metrics, third-party contacts, executive interviews, images, b-roll, customers and case studies. They might not use one or any of your resources, but not being prepared can cause issues. Journalists are on deadlines. If you don’t have assets ready to go, they might move onto the next story idea or use stock photography. It makes such a huge difference to have a photo of the actual client or product accompany a story.

While it’s great to have photos and videos available, don’t attach them to an introductory email. It could suck up the reporter’s data, and could put you on a blacklist. Keep attachments, if any, small. If they want a high-res version, they’ll ask for it. A great alternative that a number of my clients use is a press resource web page, which houses high quality deliverables for the reporters.

4. Be your own devil’s advocate

This idea was proposed by James Pearson, EVP Corporate Communications at Grooveshark, one of the Webinar presenters. James advised asking yourself, “is this news?” Propose the questions the reporter would ask you. At this stage, it’s a good idea to use your coworkers. Bounce ideas and pitches off of each other. I’ve found that sometimes the best people to do this with are those who are not on the account with you. An “outsider” can oftentimes offer a new perspective.

Pearson also suggested professionals put themselves in the journalists’ shoes, and understand they’re going to have to talk to their editor. The more unique and comprehensive the pitch, the more likely you are to get a positive response.

5. Don’t forget to follow up

I think one of the most overlooked and underutilized practices is following up. To maintain a close relationship with the media, it’s nice to say “thank you” when a story is published. Tweet the piece and share it via social media. Additional exposure you can provide them is always welcomed. It’s also good practice to check in periodically with contacts you haven’t connected with in a while.
I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve circled back with reporters to see how they’re doing, what they’re working on, etc. and been told “you reached out at the perfect time. I’m doing a story on xyz.”

The bottom line is reporters are smart. They know when you’re sending them the same message as the other 100 people on your list. Treat them as the individuals they are, and you’ll get responses, respect, and maybe a few hits along the way!

Post by Alyson Kuritz, Strategist

Tips for Breakthrough PR Writing

The importance of writing well cannot be emphasized enough in public relations. For PR Pros, writing is a core competency that is a part of everything that we do – whether that’s a press release, a pitch, a blog post, or just an email to a client. Not only is your work being judged by those paying your salary, but your peers and clients also form impressions about you based on how well you communicate. How we write is a key part of our personal brand.

In listening to a recent PRWeek webinar, titled, “Tips for Breakthrough PR Writing,” I got some critical reminders about the importance of strong writing skills. Often, it’s the little things that count the most. These basic tips were great refreshers on how important it is to pay attention to detail and how be thorough in everything you write.

1. Frame the news

Hype is not news, as every editor will tell you. Words like “state-of-the-art, revolutionary, and first-of-its-kind,” should be thrown out of written vocabulary. Editors want you to get to the point, and fast. Think like the prospects you are pitching – what would make you interested in a story? The opening paragraph of any written piece should be as simple as possible and tell the most important elements to the story. If your first paragraph doesn’t do that, chances are, the reading will stop there. Make sure you know what is really newsworthy. Ask yourself, is it timely? Is there a reason to write about this now, or can it wait? Can you tie your story to anything happening in the world today? Making your writing relevant and keeping it simple are two key elements to PR success.

2. Master the 3 Cs…clear, concise & compelling

Tap into the power of simplicity, e.g. the Nike slogan “Just Do It”. If it can be said in three words instead of five, go with three. This avoids confusion and gets rid of unnecessary extras. After all, time is tight for those in media, so make it quick. Often we can’t just write how we talk, because our conversation is more casual than the written word. But think about how you would tell someone a story and, if you can, write it that way (taking grammar into account). Acronyms in emails to clients should be used sparingly, especially if they aren’t ones that are used regularly in their business. No one wants to have to send you a follow-up email just to ask you what you meant by your acronym shorthand. Finally, have you ever noticed that when you send emails to clients with multiple points and questions, it takes much longer for them to get back to you? Only include key points in emails. This will ensure that the important stuff gets read and answered.

3. Break on through… engaging subject lines & headlines

Always remember what the point of the subject line is in an email: to entice the prospect to open the email. If it’s wordy or takes more than a few seconds to comprehend, the email’s not getting opened. The subject line should help the editor or reporter picture the title of a potential article, so it should be just as short and punchy as the titles of the articles you are attracted to read.

4. Tone it for your audience

We can’t control how our tone sounds on the other end of emails. What might sound perfectly fine to us when we hit the send button can come across as angry, curt or blunt on the other end. Be mindful of how you “speak” in an email. One way to combat this issue is to have a peer read your email first before sending for tone. Getting an objective third party to review your email can help flag any possible misunderstandings before they are created. Never be condescending or presumptuous in an email to editors. If they made a mistake or missed something, there is a right way to ask them to correct it and a wrong way. Make sure that you know the difference!

5. Give grammar your best shot

It’s amazing how some of the smartest and most successful people still make common grammatical errors. No one is immune to these simple mistakes. Some of the most common errors include noun-pronoun agreement, subject-verb agreement, tense consistency, and sentence structure. Consider the image on the right – the first sentence sounds like we want to eat our grandmother, and the second sentence correctly states that we are telling our grandmother that we want to start eating, with her! Punctuation can truly save lives (or, at least, your latest pitch/memo/email, etc.!).

Post by Colleen DeVine, Director

How to Secure Awesome Coverage When a Major News Story is Breaking

Getting great coverage for your clients isn’t always easy. It takes creativity, determination, and strategy.

The task becomes even more difficult when a major, global news story is breaking, and that becomes the only topic that editors are interested in.

As a PR person working with healthcare clients, it seems as though every reporter is looking to link their stories to Ebola in anyway they can. If that’s not an option for you, as it isn’t for me, here are some tips that will help ensure that your clients get the visibility they deserve.

1. Address the obvious. Attention grabbing subject lines that acknowledge the “crisis” are a must. Examples might include: “Stop reading about Ebola and read my pitch” or “Not another Ebola story idea”.

2. Utilize your “friendly” contacts. Establishing relationships with reporters and staying in touch, even when you have no news, is important. Building these relationships over time can lead to you becoming a reliable and credible resource for the reporter, and as a result, one that can reach out no matter what is going on in the world.

3. Get personal. I imagine that reporters loathe the standard “Hi, here is my press release, please speak with X and write an article.” Actually, I’m not imagining it…reporters despise emails like this. Acknowledge that you know what the reporter covers, reference the awesome article or Tweet he or she just posted, and why your client/product would be such a great fit. This can move mountains, and it is how many friendly relationships begin (see above).

4. Widen your net. You’re trying to secure coverage for your client with a health-related product in the middle of a health crisis. Avoid reaching out to general news, breaking news and main health editors. Expand your reach and try to think of unexplored avenues – what about women’s health outlets, natural health outlets (if applicable), or mommy blogs?

5. Social media is your friend. After you have flooded the inbox of the reporter who is just so perfect for this pitch and you know it deep down, so much that it hurts with 7 “just following-up” emails, it’s time to try a different route. Follow the reporter on Twitter, connect on LinkedIn, invite him or her to like your client’s product/company page on Facebook, and start following up. Plus, the limited characters will help you to avoid babbling on and on – make it short, sweet and convincing. Example: @reporter, being an annoying PR girl, bc I really want to introduce you to [product]. Know it would be a great fit. Best way to connect?

Post by Maggie Deiseroth, Strategist

Measuring PR ROI: Why Counting Hits Means Nothing

Measuring a PR program can be difficult.

How and what you measure can vary based on the goals of your program and who your audience is.

I recently attended a measurement conference held by Cision and Vocus in New York that discussed this topic. The room was full of PR professionals from all industries and company sizes. Everyone was in agreement that ad equivalency is “dead,” and that there needs to be a better way to measure the impact of PR.

The push back on ad equivalency and the ineffectiveness of this comparison was based on the fact that an earned editorial placement is much more credible and more likely to be read than an ad. It also is fair to say that the size of an article and the size of the ad are not comparable. This becomes even more inaccurate for online placements, where articles and banner ads are even less comparable.

When you’re asked to justify the investment for a PR program, where do you start to measure?

In my experience, it has been all about quality, with a little bit of quantity in the mix. At the core of almost every PR plan is the goal to increase leadership and awareness, and there are simple ways to track and measure these efforts.

Measuring Awareness

First, understand what you want to raise awareness of – a product, the company, a service, or all three. From there, identify specific messages you want to communicate. For example, if you are a cloud-based software company, you might want to increase awareness of the company, as well as the software you are selling. Awareness of the company is important to establish credibility and awareness of the software is vital to drive customers.

Next, identify your targets for the business, vertical market and technology audiences. What are they reading? Where are they getting their information? From there, it’s a matter of working against a list of 10-20 top targets for quality articles that can help you meet your objectives. Month after month, measure the progress made in those top targets, and challenge yourself to be more creative with each passing month.

Measuring Thought Leadership

When it comes to establishing yourself as a thought leader, it is important to identify what you want to be a thought leader in. Identifying a few topics to “own” will help keep you focused and the coverage relevant. Bylined articles on business trends or commentary in larger feature stories are where a thought leader can shine. It is important to identify the stories or publications that align with your goals. Be judicious in offering your clients each and every opportunity that comes up just to keep the business in the news. Within a time-limited budget, building relationships and pitching new ideas to your top-tier list may be more worthwhile.

Another great opportunity for measuring thought leadership is through Twitter and LinkedIn. Through the measurement tools available online and by tracking clicks and web traffic, you can gain informative insight into who is reading your articles, sharing them, and then visiting your site. Connecting companies directly with reporters and influencers through social media channels also keeps your business top of mind and engaged in the industry.

The next time your company issues a press release, and you see there were 240 “hits” through PR Newswire, ask yourself what impact that had. The answer is likely little to no impact at all. Redefining how you measure PR will help you gain more effective results for the program and the client.

Post by Kathleen Fusco, Director

This Is How You Pitch: Being a Rockstar in Your First Year of PR

It is no secret that the world of PR is a tough one, and the first year on the job is one of the most difficult. For most, the first year is dedicated to learning the core skill of the PR business – pitching! Crafting the right email, making the right phone call to the right person, having the right conversation, and securing top-tier coverage is not always an easy task.

As I prepare to enter my second year at Zer0 to 5ive, a colleague suggested that I read the book, This Is How You Pitch: How To Kick Ass In Your First Years of PR, by Ed Zitron. As the title reveals, this book dishes the inside secrets on the steps to becoming a successful PR maven. Plus, the book provided me with some great advice on what not to do as I move forward in my career.

So, how do you succeed in your first year of PR?

1. Make your pitches sound like a human being wrote them.

Here’s the truth: reporters are underpaid, overworked and inundated with emails. Pitches need to be clear, and to the point. In fact, Zitron suggests writing your pitch to a 12-year-old who may care (a little) about what you’re doing, but isn’t necessarily willing to put too much time into what you have to say.

2. Keep your pitch short and sweet.

Again, remember that reporters are overloaded. As Zitron notes, the good ones receive somewhere between 300-500 emails per day! This means, many pitches are left unread, because there is no time or energy to look through everything. So, how does Zitron guarantee that your email is read?

Keep your pitch to 175 words or less. Make the pitch “easy to skim,” so that a reporter can quickly and easily get the gist of what you’re saying. This not only makes life easier for the reporter, but will also position you in a more favorable light when you reach out again in the future.

3. Do the background research.

The PR world is busy and often, we PR people don’t have enough hours in the day to complete all of our tasks. Because of this, it’s even more important to spend our time pitching the right reporter. As Zitron explains, this means doing the background research! It’s imperative to know who your target reporters are and what these reporters are writing about. It’s also a good idea to keep up on any trends or stories that are going on, so your pitch aligns with what they are covering.

This process may seem laborious, but in the long run, putting in the additional work upfront will not only make your job easier but it will allow you to be more successful when it comes to getting those big hits!

Using these simple tips will help you survive your first year(s) in the business and turn yourself into the top PR pro you always thought you could be!

Post by Ariela Weinberger
Associate Strategist