Crisis Communications During Covid: A PR Professional’s Guide to Attracting Media Attention
One of the most challenging aspects of getting the media’s attention as a PR professional is developing a pitch for your client that is compelling enough to attract the attention of the Houston and Texas media. It’s easy to copy and paste a previous pitch and tweak it to align with your client’s new message, but this process quickly gets tired. Instead, approach each new media pitch with a fresh mindset by planning ahead, doing your research and getting creative. Here are examples of how these steps worked for some of my clients:
Editorial calendars from relevant media can be your best friend. Collect each publication’s media kit at the beginning of the year and take note of the editorial calendars and deadlines. Keep this information top of mind, so as not to miss an opportunity to secure print media coverage for a client.
After onboarding my client Nancy Almodovar of Nan and Company Properties/Christie’s International Real Estate, I immediately researched local publications’ editorial calendars. Houston Modern Luxury’s June issue focused on real estate, so I thought this would be a natural fit. I reached out to the magazine’s editor in chief with the specific goal of securing my client a spot in the June issue, and the conversation began immediately. My initial outreach was in March, and Nancy Almodovar was recently interviewed, and is slated to be included in the June issue.
Do your research
As a PR professional, it’s our job to insert our clients into the conversation. In order to do so, we need to research what media outlets are talking about and how they are addressing these topics. Do your research before contacting a media reporter; the goal is to make the potential story being pitched is as easy for them to execute as possible.
My client, Menopause Taylor (Dr. Barbie Taylor, M.D.) is a menopause management expert and has dedicated herself to educating women about menopause. After brainstorming with my co-workers, I pitched Sara Donchey with KPRC-NBC Channel 2 because she produces a segment called “Women Making a Difference”. When deciding how to write my pitch, I made sure to read several of Sara’s articles online and watch the videos from previous segments. By doing so, I was able to tailor one of her stories with information about Barbie, which essentially mapped out exactly how the segment would run. Sara Donchey responded the same day I pitched her, wanting to schedule the segment.
Depending on your client, experiment with unique ways to deliver their message. This could be something as short and clever as changing the lyrics to Vanilla Ice’s Ice Ice Baby.
All right stop,
collaborate and listen
CRAVE is back with their holiday editions
Sugar grabs a hold of me tightly
Homemade everything daily and nightly
Will you come by?
Yo, I hope so
Turn on the oven and we’ll go
To the extreme, strawberry vanilla with cream
Bright up your day with a cupcake from CRAVE
Not only did this pitch secure holiday placement for my client, CRAVE cupcakes, on KPRC-NBC Channel 2’s lifestyle show, Houston Life, but it opened the door to secure a placement months in advance for CRAVE’s Valentine’s Day treats. CRAVE showed off their heart-shaped rice krispies treats on-air, and ended up selling out of it for the first time ever.
Here’s a link to the holiday segment: https://www.click2houston.com/houston-life/houston-happenings-and-onesie-fashion
Here’s a link to the Valentine’s Day segment:https://www.click2houston.com/houston-life/valentines-day-treats-with-crave-cupcakes
Kirby Cohen – May 29, 2018
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