The Art of the Pitch: How to Become a Go-to Financial Resource for the Media
Have you noticed that every year the media features the same stories? Calendar based stories from the holiday season, back to school, Halloween and tax season are just some of the topics that must be included in the media’s coverage. As a financial advisor, you possess knowledge that could be valuable to media in your local area for some of these “must report on subjects,” so you may as well try to be a part of it rather than your competitors.
This could be your chance to get yourself noticed. It is a win-win for all involved—your local media needs sources to discuss a topic and you garner some publicity for yourself.
The question is, do you know how to pitch the media that could get them to pay attention? Drafting the right pitch is the key to becoming a go-to source. Here are a few tips that can help when you reach out:
Present a problem and offer a solution. In this particular case, let’s use tax season, which is happening now. It is probable that most everyone who is filling their taxes will have questions, especially this year with the implementation of new tax laws. Many consumers are confused, and you can present yourself as someone who can help provide the answers.
Media gets a ton of emails each day, and they do not have time to process them all. A concise, straight to the point email is vital to capturing their attention. Try creating bullet points that outline what you are pitching; it can make the email much easier to read.
Statistics can tell a story
If you can find statistics that back up what you are stating, this will substantiate your pitch. Media really likes easy-to-understand, easy-to-illustrate statistics that can almost tell the story for them.
Find the right media to pitch
Whether you are looking to be a source on a local TV news program or your local newspaper, do a little digging and find the correct person to contact. Look for people who report about topics that you can address. This will more than likely be reporters who cover business for finance.
Pitch more than one outlet
Don’t put all your eggs in one basket is a very apt saying. Unless you are offering an exclusive, contacting a number of media outlets will definitely increase your odds.
Why would the media talk with you? This part of the pitch needs to be about you and why you are the expert on this subject. Your credentials, years of experience and anything else that gives you authority can help convince the media why they should interview you about a particular topic. Again, be sure to keep it short and to the point.
Media hits the ground running as soon as their day starts. Usually, TV stations have planning meetings at 9 a.m. to figure out the day’s schedule. You want to reach out to TV before these meetings start so your topic can be “pitched” as a possible story in this meeting. Daily newspaper deadlines are usually at around 3 p.m. so reporters will more than likely be looking for their topics in the early morning.
Well, you contacted the media, and you are hearing nothing but crickets. Once again, the people you will be contacting get tons of emails, so there is a good chance that they missed yours. A follow-up email is probably necessary to have a better chance of getting noticed. Usually, 2 to 3 days after you sent the first one is appropriate.
Unfortunately, you could draft the best pitch and still not get any bites. Getting media to pay attention to you is not as easy as it looks; it can also take a lot of time and effort. That is why many companies hire PR people or agencies that have established strong relationships with media outlets for the best success. But, do not get discouraged, like anything else, the more you pitch, the more chances you have for success.