Press coverage is a critical tool to publicize and grow your business. However, it also requires adding yet another thing to your very long to-do list.
As a solopreneur, I get it. I’m not only the creative talent, I’m also the marketing department, the accounting department, and the janitorial staff. I’m doing it all. There are many times that if someone told me I had to do any more, I’d laugh—or cry!
However, I’m familiar with building media pitching into my business, and I can teach you my tips and tricks for how to do it well. As a freelance journalist, I have to pitch editors weekly so I can generate assignments. I’m also an author. To publicize my books, I also have to pitch the media to cover my creative endeavor. When I do, I’m taking time away from my day job to reach out to the media. I’m sitting in the pitching chair just like you are.
I’ve found that pitching regularly is not necessarily about finding more time in the day. It’s all about working smarter. Here are three time saving tips for media outreach.
Getting the right idea into the right person’s hands at the right time doesn’t always happen immediately. Nor does it happen the first time. Pitching is a process that you can work on a little bit of time every day.
The best first place to start with pitching is reading, watching, and listening to the media outlets that you want to cover your business. So, set yourself a time limit that feels reasonable to you and every day at a certain time, just consume the media. You’re working toward pitching, but you’re doing it in a way that works well for you.
Building new habits or routines into our schedules is incredibly difficult. Human evolution and survival is actually built a lot on habit. If it wasn’t, there would just be too many inputs, too many options for us to pursue. So, we build our lives around habits—doing certain things at certain times of the day. And disrupting those routines can be incredibly difficult. So, one technique that I’ve found incredibly useful is habit stacking. In other words, adding a new habit onto one you already do.
When I needed to get started running again after a long hiatus, I had trouble getting out the door. I simply forgot I was supposed to go on a run. So I added a run to the end of my walk with my dog. I was already dressed and ready for exercise, so I would just drop him off at the house and head back out. It helped me get back into the routine of running. Later, I had built up that habit enough that I could adjust my schedule to when running was more convenient for me.
The same applies with adding a new task to you list. Do you check your email every morning when you sit down to work? Great, add 15 minutes of media outreach prep at the same time. Do you always post to Instagram after lunch? Great, plan some media outreach time for then. Do you batch work and write all of your content once a week? Great, add a few minutes to that session to pitch.
You’re already producing content, right? And you’re likely writing daily social media posts and showing up on stories, too. If you plan that out that content, then pitching the press can dovetail into those efforts.
When you’re writing a newsletter to customers, you can easily add a pitch to a journalist as well. (Side note here: Don’t add journalists to your email newsletter lists without their permission. Also, a directed, individual email to a journalist will go a lot further in getting results than just sending him/her an email newsletter.) When you’re writing a post sharing a new video you created about your new holiday offerings, you can just as easily take five minutes and send an email to a journalist sharing that video link as well.
Brainstorm about how you can build pitching into what you’re already doing. That way it will feel like a natural addition rather than a separate process you have to find time for.
The biggest time saving tip of all is knowing what you’re doing. In other words, you can work more effectively when you have a clear picture of what you need to do. So, keep learning about pitching the press so you can do it effectively!