Friday, November 1, 2013

unCon 2013 Session: Perfect Pitch - Press and Media Relations Clinic

Moderator: Scott Kirsner, Boston Globe & Tina Cassidy, Ink House Media

To quote one of the most infamous men to enter into business, “we live in a very noisy world,” once said Steve Jobs. This quote is a great introduction to the session earlier today led by Scott Kirsner, Boston Globe columnist and Tina Cassidy, VP at Ink House, “Perfect Pitch: Press and Media Relations Clinic.”
The media is so fast-paced and difficult to keep up with that pitches often get lost in the muddle and shuffle of headline and breaking news stories. This poses the question then, how do you write the perfect pitch? Scott led this discussion with four other press experts on guiding companies to create the best pitch for their company and product.

By taking volunteers from the room, we got to hear from a variety of startup companies. After telling their product pitch, Scott and his team of press experts critiqued and gave advice on how to improve or modify the pitch to be successful in receiving press. Overall, there were four key takeaways from this session that would be beneficial to other companies looking to connect with the media for press coverage.

·         Clearly define your message – make sure you clarify what it is that your company is doing or selling. If you’re in the beginning stages, test out examples on your family and friends and see what sticks. Ultimately, you’re creating your mission statement.
·         Learn who your audience is – you could have an amazing product but you’re not directing it towards the right consumer group. Do research and determine who is interested in what products, from there, you can figure which news outlets best suits your company.
·         Research the media – when you’re pitching a reporter, make sure you know their background. Read their past articles, check out their Twitter feed – then you get to their personality, what they’re interested in and what they write about, which inevitably helps you pitch your product better.
·         Differentiate yourself in the market – more often than not, there will be another company out there with a similar product or solving a similar problem. In order to separate yourself from those competitors, you have to find that niche that makes you unique and more appealing. Ultimately, that is what will get the press’s attention.

Once you get the perfect pitch, it’s about maintaining that relationship with the reporter. As a lasting note and tip to close out the session, Scott said “be a source for your own space.” Ultimately, secure and continue the relationship with the press by offering other news that is not just yours. Inform them of other companies doing similar things, because that’s when they start to trust and credit you for helping them do their job as well.

Kayla Krause


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