In today’s Insight, I’m discussing tips for thought leadership pitching during election month. It’s no secret that election coverage has been dominating the news cycle. Unlike previous presidential election seasons, this coverage is expected to continue well beyond November as election-related litigation plays out across the country.
This hyper-focused, rapidly evolving media landscape can make it difficult for communications professionals to stand out and successfully reach reporters. So, what do you do when you have an expert who can add to the conversation and serve as a valuable resource to reporters?
I’ve outlined tips for thought leadership pitching during election month below to help your brand break through election noise.
1. Identify opportunities ASAP
Every industry and vertical will be looked at through the lens of the election and examined based on the elected candidate’s political values. Now is the moment to be proactive, not reactive.
Based on your thought leader’s expertise, begin building your media list with reporters you expect will be covering the topic. Pitch reporters as soon as possible to offer your expert – don’t wait until they’re already covering the topic.
2. Tell your story in the subject line
Do you have a real estate, healthcare, legal or cybersecurity expert available? Perfect, you have your email subject line!
Your subject line should include keywords, so a reporter can immediately understand why you are contacting them without reading the full email. Plus, your email will also be likely to come up when a reporter searches their inbox later for a specific topic or expert.
3. Keep your pitch short and sweet
It’s impossible to imagine what a report’s inbox looks like with near-constant breaking news. Until election coverage winds down, your email pitch should be no more than 2-3 sentences.
A good rule of thumb is to only include:
– Why you are reaching out
– The thought leader you are offering and (very brief!) credentials
– Topics they can speak to
4. Don’t be afraid to try new avenues
If you’re not hearing back from a reporter, it could be for several reasons. If your outreach is timely, pivot to a new outreach tactic. For example, consider a follow-up phone call, direct message on social media or call the news desk.
Once a media interview or opportunity is secured, the next pivotal step is to ensure all spokespersons are media trained and aligned with your organization’s key messages and position regarding the election and issues on the ballot.
With Election Day upon us, we’re at the height of the election media frenzy. Thanks for reading my Insight on tips for thought leadership pitching during election month. Don’t miss Alexa’s blog “Navigating Social Media During the Election” and Jessica’s “How to Communicate Around the Upcoming Election” for additional insight on adapting your brand’s communications strategy.