Small Biz Pitching "Do's" That You Need to Know to Succeed


Here at Tin Shingle we remind you daily of how essential it is to reach out to the media and do little things to build your buzz daily.  That said there are rules when building media relationships, just as there are in regular relationships.  Today we'd like to share a few Do's that are guaranteed to help you on your quest to reach out to editors and producers, and hopefully they'll boost your confidence when you're pitching as well.  Read about the DONT's here.  Be sure to check your Tin Shingle emails regularly for more PR tips and remember, it's PR, not ER, so breathe deeply and remember to smile and dial!


Research the outlet you are going to pitch so you know which sections your product is appropriate for and which editors cover your categories.
By doing this you may actually find new places to pitch your story and think of new angles!  It's also a great way to count reading magazines and flipping through television programs "research" because it is!


Research the editorial calendars (story calendars) of the magazines you are pitching.
This will tell you who to pitch, what to pitch, and when to pitch, or at the very least let you know what they plan on working on for the year.  This is essential to your PR campaign!  Find these manually or if you are a Tin Shingle Core member find editorial calendars all online here on this site!


Go to the websites of shows like The Rachael Ray Show, Martha Stewart Show, The Doctors, and The Talk and find out what they have scheduled for future shows. 
These programs usually book on a short lead schedule (meaning not too far in advance) so you could be just what they are looking for.  Knowing what they need before you call them gives you extra ammunition and background information while going in to pitch.


Always pitch with a script in front of you when you are on the phone.
Seasoned pros still do so there is no reason you should not be.  This prevents moments of embarassment when you forget or freeze up, and will leave you feeling more confident.


Send thank you notes.
Send them when you have received a placement or were given a deskside appointment by an editor, and include something small in it that will remind them of your brand.


Try to schedule a deskside appointment so that you can get your product in front of them.
Try to schedule several of these appointments at once in one place ( ie at Hearst one day, Conde Nast another, etc), this way you can say "Hey I'll be in the building on Tuesday, can I swing by and show you my XXX very quickly when you are free?".


Be prepared
Have a media kit and all your branding information, line sheets, bio, and photos ready to go BEFORE pitching so you can email a follow up immediately afterwards.


Email a follow up immediately after talking to any member of the press..
In the subject line include "we just spoke" at the beginning of the email so they remember who you are.  As always introduce yourself and your brand in the email.


But wait....don't forget to study the DONT's here.