What to do when your ‘perfect’ PR pitch is shunned

A great story idea shouldn’t wither away because of breaking news or other factors. Try these alternatives to breathe new life into it.

We’ve all had at least one PR pitch that feels like a sure thing. A pitch that sounds so perfect, you’re certain that elusive USA Today reporter you’ve been trying to connect with for months will gobble it up.

The response pops up in your email, and you immediately drop what you’re doing to open it—only to discover she isn’t interested. She’s too busy. There was a natural disaster. A political figure is dominating the headlines. Whatever the case may be, even if it’s just bad timing, the reporter isn’t going to write the story this time.

What now? How should you react when your perfect PR pitch isn’t timed quite so perfectly?

First and foremost, try to find another home for it. If it is a solid story, the chances of another targeted reporter jumping on it are in your favor. While you’re trying to place the story, start considering other uses for the idea, as well. A good pitch should never go to waste.

It’s also important to consider that a well-crafted pitch can be great fodder for other formats. Today, it’s all about high-quality content. Search engines want to index it, website visitors want to read it, and potential clients view high-quality content creation as thought leadership.

Here are some thoughts on how to recycle a pitch so it doesn’t go to waste:

  • Channel your thoughts into a compelling blog post. Most individuals and companies that maintain blogs are looking for information to share to ensure frequent additions of meaningful content. That’s one way to capitalize on these great story ideas.
  • Use it for an e-newsletter or newsletter article. Content that customers, prospects, and professional partners will find useful should be the cornerstone of any external communications strategy. They don’t want to hear incessantly about how great you or your company is. It’s important to give them valuable insight in addition to great company updates—and your pitch may be just the right topic for an article your target audience will find informative, boosting your reputation.
  • If the topic is meaty enough, consider a case study, white paper, or e-book. A technical topic or compelling real-world example might warrant an in-depth look for your corporate website. Through this, you can capture data to expand your website, or provide a compelling reason for visitors to return again and again.
  • Host a webinar. A webinar can help relay the story and its information to your target audience. If, for example, the pitch was about a new software or IT trend, a presentation demonstrating the functionality with step-by-step visuals would be an asset to those looking to learn more. If you’re highlighting a complicated law that is about to take effect, a simple explanation of the legalese would provide clarity to clients, while opening the floor for questions.

Your PR pitch doesn’t have to be perfectly timed to generate results for you or your organization. Just make your great story doesn’t die on the vine simply because “Good Morning America” didn’t take note.

Erin Sabo is an account director for Identity. A version of this blog post first appeared on Identity’s blog.

Topics: PR

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