Here are some tips for pitching reporters for interviews at CTIA Super Mobility 2015.
Remember, the pre-registration media list (coming soon) is only available to those who are exhibiting, sponsoring or speaking.
Before you pitch, ask yourself:
- Are you unique? When drafting your email pitch, remember that reporters receive hundreds of emails every day from people wanting them to write about their products and services. So why should this reporter write about your company’s product or service? What makes it unique?
- Is this the right reporter/publication? Before you spend time drafting the email pitch, are you sure that this reporter at this publication is the right one for product or service? Did s/he write about a problem that your company’s product or service addresses?
» BONUS Tip: Most reporters won’t write about your company just because they already wrote about a competitor, UNLESS there’s something that s/he missed that truly does make your product or service different.
» BONUS Tip 2: Check the reporter’s social media profile. S/he may have made a comment about a frustrating situation or something they need; if your product or service can help them, that shows you’ve done your homework. But watch it, you don’t want to sound like a stalker!
- Less is More: One strategic and targeted call or email to the right reporter, who covers the topic, is far better than sending a generic email to a number of reporters or certainly to the entire media list. If you’re contacting a reporter, your message must be specific and tailored to that reporter.
- Check it. No typos! Check your grammar. Remember, this may be the reporter’s first impression of you and your company so you want to make sure it’s a good one. There’s no shame in asking a colleague to review your pitch before you send it.
- No files. At this early stage, you should avoid sending files at all cost. Unless the reporter knows you, the file – and your email – will likely end up in the spam or junk folder.
- Don’t be needy. If you emailed a pitch, but haven’t heard back from the reporter in a couple of days, it’s okay to follow up with ONE call and leave a very short voicemail. But don’t be incessant about it either. If you don’t hear back, it’s probably a “no.”
Congrats on getting an interview! Now here are some tips for prior to, during and after the meeting.
Before the interview:
- Don’t overstuff the press kit. What’s relevant to the conversation? Is a press kit the best way to provide the information? Is there another way to provide the information, such as a USB drive?
- What’s your message? Make sure your executive(s) know what your pitch said so s/he knows what the reporter is interested in discussing for the interview. Try to keep it to 2-3 big themes or points that you want your executive(s) to make in the interview. You’ll also want to prep the executive(s) for topics that may come up with the interview and how to respond.
During the interview:
- Don’t do all the talking. Unless you are the person that the reporter agreed to meet, it’s important that the reporter has time to talk with the executive you’ve pitched. At the same time, if your executive is missing a key point, you may want to prompt him/her.
- Take notes. If you have something or have seen something that might help the reporter out with his/her story, remind yourself to send it to him/her (e.g. analyst contact, images, etc.).
After the interview:
- Follow up! If the reporter asked for more info or something from your company, follow up and provide it to him/her. You get brownie points if you can deliver the info the same day (especially within hours). Or if your executive forgot to mention something, you can always thank the reporter and say that your executive wanted to make sure s/he mentioned X or Y.