Pitching media is at the core of what we do.
It has been beaten into our brains that effective pitches should include a clear ask like: Let me know if you are interested in this story idea. What is your availability? Does this sound like a good fit? But don’t be afraid to break from the mold. A “no-ask” pitch can provide an effective touch point to reporters and yield potential media opportunities. This is essentially sending a note to a reporter that aggregates trends or milestones without pushing for an interview.
This is a tactic we use with our clients and it has been successful in securing media opportunities. Sometimes offering perspective or details about other news or trends in a particular industry, whether it’s healthcare, cybersecurity, education, etc., can remind journalists that we are closely following developments and can be a resource for stories.
Part of relationship building is keeping in regular contact. Think of a friend you haven’t seen in weeks, if you’re dedicated to that relationship you may create reasons to text or call to keep connected. The same is true with media relationships; it is important to create a touch point. But as the old adage says, “never show up empty-handed.” A no-ask pitch helps to build a relationship with a reporter and could spark a story idea that he or she is grateful for, or offer an expert that they didn’t know they needed. It positions PR as a resource and partner versus a moocher. We recently used this approach for one of our healthcare clients and were asked to be a source for a trend piece and contribute a byline on one of the topics we identified.
While “no-ask” pitches shouldn’t be relied on solely, it is another tool we have at the ready in our PR arsenal. When I was a reporter, I appreciated when people would email me ideas, trends and kept in contact on a regular basis – without going overboard. Often times, I’d hit those people up when I needed a source because they were top of mind.
Even if we don’t have hard news to pitch, we’re always looking for creative ways to keep our clients in the line of sight with media.
Have some tips of your own? Let us know!
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RH Strategic is a Seattle and D.C.-based communications firm providing strategic public relations for innovators in the technology, public sector and healthcare markets.