So. I’ve been a PR girl now for a few years, not nearly long enough to call myself an expert (ha, to be honest with you I’m not sure anyone can claim that in an industry profession that changes as quickly as PR does) but long enough that I’ve picked up a few tricks of the trade along the way that EVERYONE should know about.
While the examples I use might be specific to PR, definitely recognize that this advice transcends all industries because the principles just don’t change.
I think the biggest question you can ask yourself as a PR girl, as a salesperson, as an entrepreneur is how TF do you add value?
How can you answer questions before they’re even asked?
How can you solve a problem that people/ editors didn’t even realize existed?
By strategically thinking ahead of the trends, you put yourself in this unique position of having the upper hand. Be one step ahead of the person that you’re trying to sell (or pitch) so they have less work to do at the end of whatever project they didn’t know they were going to be working on.
What do I mean by this on a micro-level?
As a PR girl, your number one priority should be exposing your products to the public through media placements. That’s jargon for getting a magazine editor to put your fucking product in the pages of their magazine. Doesn’t matter what convinces them to include it in their magazine, so long as money doesn’t exchange hands (that’s hella illegal and also known as “advertising.”)
The best way to secure placement?
Represent a product that isn’t super shitty.
I know, life doesn’t always work that way. I get it. The second best way to secure placement? Identify a need that the editor doesn’t even realize they have yet, and solve it.
Let’s take a hashtag holiday pitch opportunity, #NationalLipstickDay just happened so that’s the perfect example. Hashtag holidays are actually kind of a thing nowadays, and it just so happens that one of the products I represent is a) new and b) a lipstick line.
So what now?
How can you guarantee some type of coverage and capitalize on this opportunity where you’ve actually been thinking far enough ahead to recognize a story opportunity with a timely product launch?
Editors are now starting to write product round-up articles, also known as listicals, for different publications because they’re super easy ways to generate revenue for the website (that’s another topic for another day though) and are ALWAYS in need of new topics.
#NationalLipstickDay is the perfect opportunity to provide them with a content idea while also pitching your product for a timely piece.
Craft an email pitch, include a link to where you can purchase the product you’re representing, and make it fucking funny. Editors are up to their eyes in email pitches, do what you can to make yours not boring AF. Leave that for the poor agency girl who has to rep 4-5 different brands and make them all sound equally interesting.
Do you see what we did with this process?
You created and added value in a way that didn’t create more WORK for your media friends. You came up with the theme of the article (“The best lipsticks to rock during #NationalLipstickDay”) and gave them a product to include within it. All they gotta do is copy/paste.
Also this kind of goes without saying but link your product for them in the email pitch, link hi-res imagery, and add in pricing information super clearly. Don’t be a lazy PR person, nobody likes those kind of people ya know?
Adding value should be the way that you live your life no matter what industry you’re in, don’t waste space with regurgitating information that can easily be found via the Google machine.
And there you have it folks!
Pitching 101 courtesy of your local PR girl, you’re welcome.