Tips from a PR Pro: How to Successfully Pitch Yourself
As a full-time PR professional and part-time writer, I toggle between being the "pitcher" and the "pitchee."
As the "pitcher", I promote industry-specific news and developments to a relevant audience, with the hopes of garnering interest and securing media coverage for my clients.
As the "pitchee", I receive news stories, survey findings, and book promotions, with the hopes of inclusion in one of my next articles.
Essentially, the primary objective is the same: raising awareness, and making an impact.
Being on both ends of the spectrum, it helps me to see things from a new perspective.
When I'm pulling together a media list for my day job, I can truly put myself in the reporter's shoes.
I think to myself: What media pitches have I received that truly resonated with me? How were they designed in way that truly grasped my attention, and instantly motivated me to write about this subject?
This internal monologue can also be particularly useful when it comes to selling yourself.
Perhaps you're looking to work with a brand, or to write for an online publication.
Whatever your goal may be, the key lies in the construction of your pitch.
Here are 4 tips for perfecting your pitch and landing opportunities:
Clearly emphasize your value.
While sharing your relevant experience is important, never neglect the importance of showcasing what YOU can do for THEM.
If you start off by rambling about your accomplishments, there's a good chance that you'll lose their interest pretty quickly.
Instead, your email should primarily focus on their business and what you can offer them.
Think about the relevant skills that you possess, and how they can specifically be applied to this particular role.
Ultimately, it's not about impressing them with accomplishments - it's about presenting them with attributes that translate into tangible results.
Show them you're a good fit.
When it comes to demonstrating alignment, your best bet is "show, don't tell."
Include a few links to previous projects that share a similar focus or style with the prospective company.
Make it as easy as possible for them to check out your work, and recognize your relevancy.
Here, it can be especially helpful to do your homework.
Many brands and companies share similar missions. Go beyond the basics, and pinpoint a specific company value that you've spoken to.
By identifying a unique trait and sharing your involvement, you're more likely to stand out from the pack.
Play up your strengths.
Although I cautioned against getting rambly, a pitch is still very much about selling yourself. Just keep it succinct.
Your selling points can vary, depending on who you're pitching.
If you're a social media influencer looking to work with a brand, your engagement rates and monthly views are important to note.
If you're a writer looking to contribute to a publication, your portfolio of published work is crucial to include.
When it comes to showcasing your skills, the most important aspect to consider is: Are these applicable?
Think about the skill set that the company would want to see in an employer or representative, and then capitalize on those characteristics.
Keep it genuine.
When I receive pitches that are clearly copied & pasted and distributed to a mass list, I'm usually reluctant to read them.
Why? Because I assume that it was a rushed effort, and that the person didn't take the time to familiarize themself with my work.
So if you're sending a generic pitch to 100+ companies and not receiving any responses....DING DING DING!
You don't have to act like a fangirl, but you should include a line demonstrating your insight of their work.
As a real-life example, I recently received a pitch that weaved in a link to one of my articles.
The pitcher noted that they came across this particular article of mine, and thought that I may be interested in a story that aligns with this topic.
I'm much more likely to explore an opportunity like this, because it was tailored to be relevant and useful.
Pitching yourself can be intimidating and tricky at times, but practice makes perfect.
By putting yourself in the company's shoes, you'll learn to play up your value in a way that catches their attention and persuades them to bring you on board.