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Why We Do Advance Work With The Media Before We Formally Pitch

I am en route to New York for a few days or R&R and some work. 

On the PR agency side, I am meeting with a few select journalists in advance of a formal pitch we want to make to them with regard to a client who is transitioning into an emerging market space. Photo_46

On the SAtechBlog side (my other blog) I am meeting with several financial institutions who have asked me to come and address my initial impressions of being an early trial user of the AT&T U-verse service.

While I can’t discuss the details of the meetings with the media, the basic premise is this:  I believe in doing advance work to find out what certain journalists at the high end of the food chain are looking for as this market evolves.  While we certainly do some of this on the phone,  there is nothing like an in person, informal meeting just to sit and listen.   

The idea here is that we are not pitching per se.  We call the journalists and are upfront in telling them that we are doing advance work and that we want to make a formal pitch and build a relationship with them.  It also helps overcome the fact that many of our clients thing that unless we are already connected to a media or analyst outlet, we can’t be successful. 

The reality to that notion is this:  if we have a great connection somewhere and a lousy story to tell, we won’t make a pitch.  That’s why we have a great connection.   If we have a great story to tell and we don’t have a connection, then  we have a reason to make a cold call or short email intro.  Another thing we do is call journalists after hours and leave them a short message on their voice mail,  followed by an email proposing to schedule a brief time to talk as an introductory discussion.  We don’t send attached files and we don’t send long winded pitches.

We are doing this to get our foot in the door, and not shove our clients down their throat with a bloated and useless press kit they will never read.

Highly Recommended.

Photo (c) 2006 by Alan Weinkrantz
Taken on my new MacBook using Photo Booth

1 Comment

  1. I just want to give a shout out to our pitiful little adverb friend “formally.” So often, this poor adverb sits on the bench, waiting its turn, when “formerly,” as in the example “Why We Do Advance Work With The Media Before We Formerly Pitch,” gets called upon to make an appearance. Why is that? Maybe he skipped town with the question mark that belongs at the end of that title? And does good grammar make for good copy?


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