Of late, I have been reflecting more and more on my public relations experience. Maybe it’s because of job hunting. Maybe it’s because of the nostalgia I am feeling going into my final weeks as an undergraduate. No matter the reason, this reflection has made me realize where my strengths and weak spots lie in PR.
While I have had some experience pitching to the media, it has been limited. That is what initially drew me to this post by Kevin Dugan entitled “Get Real About Media Relations.” Since my experience in this arena is limited, I thought it would be wise to seek out advice from a professional.
The tips Dugan offers in this piece are of great value to all in the public relations sector, but particularly to those of us about to enter entry-level positions. Media pitching, as Dugan discusses, is a task often given to those in either the intern-level or entry-level positions within an organization. Whatever the reason behind this, as a soon-to-be entry-level employee, I feel it is necessary to take these tips to heart.
I found it very interesting how he used examples from other professions to illuminate how to better pitch to the media. These comparisons make complete sense. My dad is an incredibly skilled salesman and is by far one of the most persuasive people I know. It amazes me how he so easily convinces people of the necessity of purchasing one of the many products he sells as Regional Manager for Autodesk. If he taught me half of these persuasive skills, I would be well on my way to being a great media pitcher.
The comparison of media pitching to job hunting also makes complete sense. When you job hunt, you tailor every resume and cover letter to your potential employer – one should do the same when pitching. By personalizing pitches, one starts a relationship with a reporter on the right foot, making said reporter much more likely to pay attention when you send news his or her way. The reporter will most certainly not report everything you send them, even if you do have a good relationship, but he or she will have an increased respect for you as a public relations professional, which will definitely help your client gain coverage.
Finally, Dugan emphasizes the need to look at pitching as an opportunity and not as a misfortune or punishment. Pitching is an excellent opportunity to develop your skills as a PR practitioner, but Dugan warns to “not break the glass” when pitching. If said glass is shattered, your career as a public relation professional could be as well.
I really enjoyed reading this post by Dugan and look forward to putting his tips into practice in the near future. Thank you for such an insightful post, Kevin Dugan.