This is your first bit of pitch prep from PR expert, Amanda Berlin. To start, use this media list template (be sure to save this to your GoogleDrive so you can edit it) to start collecting the names of outlets (jargon alert: outlets is the industry term for any print publication, podcast, television or radio program or station you might approach with your story or interview idea).
Here are a few ways to find relevant outlets:
Think about what you read on a regular basis and to which outlets you have felt compelled to contribute. List these sites or publications and then look at their website and see if they have submission guidelines.
Think about what your clients read. If you don’t know…ask.
Stalk your idols. Look to people in your industry you admire and see where they have been featured or to which outlets they have contributed. Add those to your list, and check the outlet websites for contact info or submission guidelines. If you’ve got a good relationship with this particular “idol” consider asking them how the placement came about and if they have a contact.
Look no further than right in your own backyard. Look at organizations you’re affiliated with. Do any of them — associations or alumni organizations, religious institutions, your gym — have publications to which you can or would want to contribute? What about your town or county or area code? Is there a gorgeous magazine they produce every quarter featuring local businesses? Put that on your list.
When it comes to finding the right people to reach out to at the outlets to which you want to contribute, here’s what you need to know. Who is the decision-maker? Is it the podcast host, or do they have a producer? Is it the television show anchor, or do they work with a booker? Odds are it’s the podcast host. And it’s the television booker. Look for section editors of the magazine section you see yourself fitting into. Sleuth them on Twitter. Look for authors of pieces that speak to your industry or philosophy. This is their beat. Social media is an excellent resource as are the mastheads of your favorite magazines. Figuring out who your point person requires some searching and some instinct.
Spend about 10-20 minutes on this to start. You really only need to come up with five great options you’re excited about and corresponding contacts. Okay, get started.
Here’s your to-do checklist:
- Save this media list template to your GoogleDrive
- Add outlets that you + your clients read regularly, on which you see your colleagues featured all the time, outlets associated with organizations you’re connected to
- Figure out who the decision-makers are and add them to your list
Sending you courage and confidence as you begin to consider putting yourself out there in a big way.
After more than a decade in the New York City public relations world, Amanda Berlin now uses her pitch powers for good. She helps entrepreneurs write their web content, tell their brand story, and spread their message in the media. Amanda and her clients have been featured in all types of media — from Business Insider to Entrepreneur on Fire and from WNYW Fox 5 to Bustle.com. She’s the creator of The PITCH School: Member Academy, which offers tools and strategy you need to go from hidden gem to recognized, trusted expert.