PR tips from an outstanding video pitch

Communicators can power their content and boost pitching prowess with these insights from this creative job application.

PR pros, take note: The bar for video pitches has been raised. Jim Cliff demonstrated his video production skills with an “endorsement” from President Barack Obama for a video producer job at Buzzfeed‘s London office.

The clip is sewn together from free videos and creates a compelling—if unwitting—testimonial:

Here’s what PR pros can learn from this video pitch:

1. Do something crazy.

No journalists responded to the pitch you emailed last week about your client’s new HVAC model—but are you surprised?

Think about the resources at your disposal and how to use them effectively. You don’t have to sift through hours of video on WhiteHouse.gov to come up with your own creative angle.

2. Think about your audience.

Cliff barely appears in the video, but his video production talents and creative prowess are front and center.

Instead of a “me”-centric resume or story pitch, tell reporters and potential employers how you can help them. Cliff focused on what he can do for Buzzfeed’s target audience: create clickable, sharable videos.

3. Make it truly personal.

Personalization isn’t slapping a journalist’s name at the top of a pitch and complimenting them on the first published piece of theirs that you found on Google.

Instead, personalization confirms that you have a genuine relationship with them—even if that effort requires painstaking effort of cobbling together clips of the president mentioningBuzzfeed.

Read the target publication as often as you can and cater the pitch to its journalists’ style and editorial preferences.

4. Packaging matters.

No one wants to see a pitch, press release or resume riddled with typos and poor grammar.

Cliff’s video was so meticulously edited that it preserved the cadence of Obama’s speech. Even a transcript of this speech would read as a well written recommendation letter.

5. Shop around.

We learned about this pitch after Cliff tweeted his effort to Ragan Communication’s chief exec, Mark Ragan:

Ragan doesn’t hold any sway in Buzzfeed’s hiring process, but Cliff’s clever idea and brilliant execution still gave us something to write about, extending the reach of Cliff’s effort.

When you’ve created a stellar piece of content, share it with publications that might want to republish it as a guest post. You’ll grab more attention and be recognized for your prowess.

What additional lessons can you learn from Cliff’s job pitch, PR Daily readers?

Carlin Twedt is the marketing and social media coordinator at Ragan Communications. You can connect with him on Twitter at @Carl_In_Tweets.

Topics: PR

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