As a marketer or PR professional, earning media for your brand is a top priority. But with so much competition out there, how do you craft a PR pitch that stands out and wins the coverage your brand deserves? The key is understanding how editors evaluate your pitch based on newsworthiness and audience relevance. Use the following two checklists to understand editors’ evaluation criteria and position your PR pitch for success.
Is it Newsworthy?
Editors evaluate the newsworthiness of a PR pitch by assessing its potential impact on the target audience and society. They look for stories that are likely to generate interest, discussion, or even action among readers. PR pitches that address pressing issues, unveil groundbreaking innovations, or present significant developments in a particular industry have a higher chance of being considered newsworthy. To pass the newsworthiness test, you need to check as many of these criteria as possible.
- Timeliness: Editors value stories that are fresh and current. Avoid pitching old news or outdated stories.
- Uniqueness: Is the story different? Editors seek stories that provide a fresh perspective, offer exclusive insights, or present a unique take on a familiar topic.
- Prominence: Including expert opinions or testimonials from recognizable brands or personalities in your story grabs more attention.
- Conflict/Incompetence/Shock Value: Controversy and conflict attract attention but be cautious of potential consequences.
- Future Impact: Highlight any potential future impact your story may have. Even if a story fails the timeliness test, it may still be important to a company, person, or subject that readers care about.
- Credibility and Trustworthiness: Editors are gatekeepers of reliable information. Make sure you provide accurate and verifiable data, cite credible sources, and avoid exaggerations or hyperbole.
Does it Pass the Relevance Test?
Editors receive an overwhelming number of pitches, making it essential to craft pitches that align with the publication’s focus and current trends. A pitch must be relevant to the target audience and fit within the editorial scope of the publication. To pass the relevance test, you should consider the following four criteria.
- External Relevance: Is your story interesting to people outside of your company? Will it have a broad appeal that extends beyond your immediate audience?
- Personal Relevance: Would you read the story? Put yourself in the editor’s shoes and ask if you would be personally interested in the story if you were a reader.
- Customer Relevance: Will your customers need or care about your story? Consider the interests and needs of your target audience when crafting your pitch.
- Journalist Relevance: Will the journalist you are targeting find the story relevant? Be sure to research the publication’s audience demographics, previous coverage, and editorial style to tailor your pitches accordingly.
Crafting a compelling PR pitch requires careful consideration of the factors that editors use to assess the newsworthiness of a story. In an era of information overload, editors appreciate pitches that are concise, clear, and easy to digest. Make sure you craft pitches that effectively communicate the key message, essential details, and the value of the story in a succinct manner. Long-winded pitches with excessive jargon or convoluted language may lead to disinterest or confusion on the part of the editor.
By ensuring relevance, timeliness, uniqueness, and impact, PR professionals can increase their chances of catching an editor’s attention. Additionally, maintaining credibility, aligning with the target audience, and presenting information concisely are crucial elements that can enhance the effectiveness of a PR pitch. Understanding the evaluation process employed by editors empowers you to refine your strategies and increase the likelihood of earning valuable media coverage for the brands you represent.