Are PR professionals and (more importantly) the journalists and influencers to whom we pitch our stories tiring of the trusty press release format? I’ve been seeing plenty of articles recently suggesting that this is true.
Pitching has always needed to be punchy; say what you need to say in a line, two lines, a paragraph – the rest is simply the detail. Your reader (or listener) needs to know exactly what you are trying to say in the first few seconds or your fantastic angle is lost. And as media continues to digitise and busy journalist teams swap staffer roles for freelancers, the offer of a ten-minute discussion with a spokesperson could well be more readily received than a lengthy written ode to a showhome.
We’ve always been strategic with our methods of communication – we don’t believe one size fits all and don’t churn out press releases if we believe there is a better way to pitch your story – and we regularly find there is a better way.
• A written elevator pitch by email, followed by a call if the journalist is interested, is often more impactful and more efficient.
• Journalists and influencers will often look for exclusivity – a tailored story, specific to their interests and agenda, will be more likely to achieve pick-up than a standard press release.
• In the current climate especially, opinion and industry expertise are gold dust…so the chance for the journalist or influencer to hear from your spokespeople makes for much more of a tailored piece for the writer.
• If your property is listed online with an agent, a simple link to the information can sometimes be enough in the first instance to whet a journalist’s appetite for a property!
Nevertheless, there is of course a time and a place for a fabulously-written press release, especially in the property industry. It provides us with clear, written content that has been pre-approved and allows us to peddle our message without repeated back and forths. In addition, many high-quality digital platforms are looking for contributed content that they can post as it comes.
Ultimately, we’re big fans of a hybrid. A short press release – or factsheet – provides the background and the approved detail needed to ensure accurate reporting and answer obvious questions. Combine this with a personalised pitch for every target, a story and angle that will appeal directly to the receiver, and you can’t go far wrong.
To find out more about our approach to pitching, contact the PHM team.