According to PR-pro Michael Smart, public relations professionals now outnumber journalists by a 6:1 ratio. Essentially, at any given time, our perfect-fit pitch is being buried by at least six other emails, all competing for one reporter’s attention.

Since media relations is one of the foundations of our industry, how can PR professionals continue to cut through the clutter to turn an email pitch into a valuable media hit? Here are few pointers, courtesy of Michael Smart’s recent webinar, “The Fast Track to Media Relations Mastery” that Three Box is keeping in our pocket this year.

  1. Earn the title of a helpful and knowledgeable resource – While our reputation strengthens with time, PR-pros should always be in the position of being helpful and valuable to reporters, starting from the first interaction. Avoid favor-filled emails and instead shift to resource-focused communication.

    Bad: “Would you mind sharing this news with your audience?”

    Good: “If you’re working on a story surrounding X, I’d be happy to share additional resources.”

  2. 10 best is better than shot-gunning 100 – The old phrase “quality over quantity” screams loud and true here. By focusing our efforts on who (really, who – down to the details) is the absolute best fit for our pitch, we immediately increase our chances of getting a response.

  3. Find your media outlet match It’s important to look past outlet reach when considering which ones to pitch. Variables like article format, type of content (contributed, sponsored or original), and the audience’s needs all play into landing the perfect media hit. Instead of The New York Times, a trade magazine or blog could potentially be a better fit for your client’s message.

Header photo courtesy of Julia Manzerova.