Are you looking to build your profile in your marketplace? Do you want to share your opinion on key issues?
As with any marketing tactic, there’s no single, perfect approach when it comes to public relations. There’s a lot of trial and error. But by keeping the following tips in mind, you can craft a persuasive PR pitch that will make journalists sit up and take notice.
Set yourself up for success
Don’t fall into the trap of firing off pitches indiscriminately to every media contact you can find. PR success starts with research.
Create a spreadsheet of relevant media outlets. Consider print, online, TV and radio then identify their reach. Are they local, regional, state or national? Who is their target audience – consumers or the industry? Do they have a particular niche?
Spending time to segment your media contacts will help you target your approach to each publication more effectively. You’ll be able to pitch your stories more efficiently and in a way that’s more relatable to each media outlet.
Remember, effective PR takes much more than throwing out an idea and hoping it sticks.
Go one on one with journos
Every media outlet and publication has a generic email address. Avoid using them wherever possible. These inboxes are invariably blanketed with a high volume of emails on a daily basis, so the chances your pitch will find its way to the right journalist is extremely low.
Track down the contact details for specific real estate journalists. By taking a personal approach, you can develop a stronger connection with them. There’s a better chance your stories will be picked up and it’s far more likely they’ll proactively reach out to you in the future.
Stay on ‘beat’
It’s important to remember that you’re not the only one pitching to journalists. To stand out, you need to find out the subject matter they focus on – their ‘beat’ – and then pitch targeted stories and content that will appeal to them.
There’s no point pitching an article about what’s happening in the Sydney market to a journalist who writes about what’s happening in Dubbo. Likewise, sending details of a record sale may not appeal to someone who focuses on profiling agents.
Always, always, always consider who’s on the receiving end of your pitch.
Build real rapport
Real estate is based on relationships – and it’s no different when it comes to PR.
Just as you take a considered approach to building rapport with your clients, so too should you with journalists. After all, you’re selling to them. Your selling a story and if they have no idea who you are, they’re not going to buy it.
Building rapport takes some time. Save the hard sell for a little later and instead invest time in forging a relationship. Comment on a recent story they’ve written. Instigate a discussion with them on social media. Offer an opinion about an issue you know they’re interested in.
Developing a connection will help build your authority and increase the chances of your pitch cutting through.
Find the right angle
Angles are everything when it comes to PR. Generality just doesn’t cut it – so always pitch with an angle in mind.
But how do you find the right angle?
Try linking your pitch to a story the journalist has covered in the past. This establishes relevance and may help to pique their interest. Familiarity is a great way to trigger curiosity. Another tactic is to spin your pitch off a recent major news story or current hot topic. Take the opportunity to drill further down into the details and extend the life of the story.
Coming up with a good angle can be the difference between a persuasive pitch and one that falls flat.
Change up your content
Don’t limit yourself to sending out a traditional press release or writing a long-form feature article. That’s exactly what everyone else is doing, but you can stand out by taking a different approach.
Differentiate yourself by pitching your idea with a mix of content types.
Want to comment on the current market? Add a link to your quarterly market review video when you send your written commentary. Or maybe you’ve completed some local research or conducted a client poll? Rather than burying all the facts and figures in a press release, think about creating an engaging infographic to capture attention.
Yes, the written content you provide is important. But video and other visuals will make your pitch even more valuable.
Dodge the dreaded delete
Now it’s time to release your pitch into the big, wide world. You’ve carefully crafted your content and your target audience is on point. But there’s still one last hurdle to jump and that’s cutting through the clutter in a journalist’s inbox.
Don’t underestimate the impact of your subject line. Real estate journalists receive hundreds of emails every day and the strength of your subject line may decide whether they read your pitch or quickly hit the delete button.
Think about what drives you to open an email. Crafting a great subject line is about creating intrigue and establishing personal relevance. Think about each journalist as a prospective client and personalise the subject line by appealing to their interests and needs. There’s power in context.