There are many public relations practitioners who pitch radio on a regular basis and do well in reaching the appropriate contacts and getting key hits. Anyone who pitches regularly knows that the more frequently you contact stations, the more likely you are to have key contacts that are current and relevant. Another way to keep your contacts current is to continually pitch a very specific beat or geographic area, keeping the number of stations manageable.
Those who understand the value of the medium but don’t pitch radio on a regular basis or want to pitch a large number of stations and networks, typically hire media relations service companies to reach target audiences. There are two main reasons to hire an outside company: established, credible relationships and saving time and money.
Since contacts are built on a daily basis, service companies have the advantage of knowing which stations to pitch at the appropriate time of day. Knowing which reporters cover ever changing beats, when reporters tend to be available to receive pitches, and interests of reporters based on past history, requires a great deal of work before the first pitch is made.
Some questions to ask your service provider to find out exactly what you are getting for your budget include:
- Do you purchase advertising time in conjunction with or in place of media relations outreach?
- How often is your database updated by a service such as Arbitron?
- Who makes up your media team and how often do you pitch stories to stations?
- How much follow up do you complete on each pitch?
While every company takes a different approach to the way they operate, it is important to pick the company that is closely aligned with the outcome that works for you and your clients.
At News Generation, we never purchase advertising time as all of the work we do is media relations work and we do not muddy the PR waters with the purchase of advertising because we are strong believers in the power of media relations and strong content to earn media hits. We update our radio data from Arbitron as often as it supplies it and supplement it with our proprietary data, which includes e-mail addresses and direct phone numbers of reporters, as well as background information specific to reporters. Our media team is made up of former reporters who understand what it is like to be on the other side of a pitch call.
Succinctness and brevity are important to pitch formulation, as is context, and we are focused on providing reporters with headline pitches and provide additional background with our supporting materials. Most of our services do provide 100% follow up on our pitches. Our philosophy is to not only place the story in the best way possible, we also strongly believe in following up to find out how our content was used, or more importantly, why a story was not used. Each project is a learning experience and as each outreach gets better, our clients are provided with the benefit of that feedback and with better outcomes as a result.