Your pitch will be different depending on the medium you’re pitching. A broadcast journalist is looking for a very different story than a print journalist or a podcaster.
According to Edison Research, 64% of Americans in 2018 have heard of podcasts and 44% have actually listened to a podcast, up 12 million people overall from 2017. Even further, the people who are tuning in are doing so on a regular basis. In that same report, Edison cited that 48 million listen to podcasts weekly.
One of the most fundamental differences between your strategy for pitching traditional journalists versus podcasts comes very early on in the process: in the research phase. Unlike a traditional media outlet which will generally accept pitches and hold interviews with key stakeholders in stories they are crafting, some podcasts do not invite guest speakers to be on the show.
There are many different podcast formats, and if the podcast you’re pitching doesn’t take guests, you’re wasting your time, so it’s important to find that information upfront.
Read our guide on pitching podcasts here.
While overall TV viewership is down from previous years due to the rise of online news, there’s still something very powerful about visually telling a story. TV is an effective way to reach potential audiences. According to Pew Research, 50% of Americans report getting their news from television.
The most important difference may seem obvious, but it’s worth a deeper dive. When pitching TV, your story must be visual.
Plus, you should be familiar with the show you’re pitching. Not only do TV news programs have different segments within a show, the shows themselves might be different. For example, a news station’s morning show may be lighter and allow for more fun feature segments than the station’s 6 p.m. evening news.
Read our guide on pitching TV here.
With 93% of the U.S. tuning in, radio is still one of the leading broadcast platforms for reach, topping both television and smartphone usage.
And with an infinite number of programs dedicated to topics both large and small, radio can provide a great way for PR pros to gain access to different audiences.
One of the biggest differences between radio and other broadcast media is on-air time allotment. Some radio shows may feature guests on the air anywhere from 15 minutes to a full hour, compared to the short timespan you often get on TV.
Something important to think about here: your spokesperson (and their personality) matters. When you’re being interviewed live on the radio, there’s a lot less time to think about your message. Your spokesperson needs to be prepared to deliver their message on the fly.
Read our guide on pitching radio here.
With over 7,000 consumer magazines circulated throughout the United States, there’s a lot of room for opportunity.
Magazines have a language of their own. For example, you might hear PR pros and journalists alike use the phrase FOB or “Front-of-the-Book.” This includes many shorter sections that you might find in a magazine like the table of contents, masthead, letter from the editor and brief one-page topics. The FOB is very different than what you might find throughout the rest of the magazine — and likely even has its own editor to pitch.
Another factor that makes pitching magazines unique is their publishing timeline. Magazines plan out much further in advance (think: at least three-four months) compared to other types of media, which are often more immediate.
Read our guide on pitching magazines here.
✍️ Contributed content
As newsroom staffs shrink and more audiences shift from print to digital, there’s increased space (literally) for all different types of content to exist. This creates a tremendous amount of opportunity for PR professionals to get their company and clients in the news via other tactics, including contributed content.
Unlike an article written by a reporter about a person or company, contributed content is written directly by the person or company and submitted to a publication. Contributed articles are meant to offer insight and first-person perspective on relevant topics, and can be a great way to position a brand as a thought leader in the industry.
Read our guide on pitching contributed content here.