Securing “Non-Traditional” Media Coverage

“Traditional” media typically refers to print, television and radio – or the only mediums that public relations professionals relied on for earned media coverage about two decades ago. Today, PR professionals have a whole host of other mediums to showcase clients, including podcasts, specialized trade outlets, and niche blogs.

Pitching “Non-Traditional”

Developing a successful pitch for any of the “non-traditional” outlets is essentially the same process as pitching traditional media. It requires doing your homework to understand the audience, message that resonates with that audience and information about the specific person the pitch will be going to. It can also involve a lot of trial and error, just like traditional media pitching. If you’re a seasoned PR professional, you know that it may take multiple reworking of your pitch and sending to multiple people at an outlet before you ever get a response.

But there are also some differences between pitching traditional and non-traditional outlets, outlined below.

Podcast Pitching

According to Nielsen, 50 percent of all homes are podcast fans, or nearly 60 million homes. Podcasts are one of the most popular ways to consume information right now. Pitching a guest for a podcast is very similar to pitching a reporter at a traditional media publication. In fact, there’s a chance that person might do both. Before crafting your pitch, do your homework and listen to the podcast to get a better understanding of their audience, interview length, past guests and topics that typically get covered. One key difference in pitching a podcast is that the producer or booker is going to want to know that the person you’re pitching is a good live interview. That means, instead of sending a traditional email pitch, try putting together an audio or video pitch instead that includes your proposed guest speaking – either from past interviews, other podcasts, or even talk that he or she has given. Show them right away why your client will be a good guest.

Specialized Trade Pitching

If your client is serving a narrow or specialized sector of an industry, you’re likely to be more successful pitching their expertise to a niche, specialized audiences. That often means finding very specialized trade outlets. Specialized trade outlets have a better guarantee of reaching the exact target audience your client needs to reach. And because their staff is typically much smaller than larger, traditional media outlets, if you’ve crafted a strong pitch, they’re more likely to respond. Here, it’s important to demonstrate that you (and your client) know the industry well and can speak specifically to nuanced topics relevant to the outlet’s readership. General, broad topic pitches are not going to do as well here.

Niche Blog Pitching

Like specialized trade industry pitching, niche blog pitching requires having a deeper knowledge about a more nuanced topic. Unlike specialized trade industry pitching, blogs aren’t necessarily under the umbrella of a larger media group (although they can be), so editorial guidelines and requirements may be more relaxed. Blogs also typically accept a fully written post, rather than having someone in-house write it for you. Here you still need to demonstrate your client’s expertise on a specific topic, but the opportunity for ghost writing is greater, so your client’s spoken and writing skills are less important. Rather, if you can land on a specialized topic that hasn’t been extensively covered by the blog already, you’re likely to garner interest.

Traditional media is still a great way to earn positive coverage for clients, but these other mediums may also present opportunities for your clients as well.

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