What Are the Best Practices for Aligning Media Pitches With Current News Cycles?


    What Are the Best Practices for Aligning Media Pitches With Current News Cycles?

    To master the art of media pitching, insights from a Communications Manager at the Schar School of Policy and Government reveal the importance of crafting stories that resonate with current events. Alongside expert advice, we've gathered additional answers that delve into the strategies for ensuring pitches are timely and relevant. From leveraging real-time trend monitoring to capitalizing on cultural and sports events, explore a spectrum of tactics used to align media pitches with the ever-evolving news cycle.

    • Craft Irresistible, Complete Stories
    • Connect Pitches to Current Concerns
    • Leverage Real-Time Trend Monitoring
    • Tailor Pitches to Breaking News
    • Forecast Trends with Data Analytics
    • Discover Trends with Social Listening
    • Align Pitches with Key Events
    • Capitalize on Cultural and Sports Events

    Craft Irresistible, Complete Stories

    You have to do the work. Having been on the other side of the editorial desk for many years, I know journalists have little time to analyze the details of your story. So, do the work: Write the story as if it were the finished copy, post it, create a URL, and send the URL with a two-sentence pitch (or, in an email, cut and paste the story so they don't have to click your link—time is everything). Headlines sell. Include artwork. Make it as easy as possible. Do not expect a media outlet to run your story verbatim, but you'd be amazed at how tempting that is sometimes. Polish it to a shine and make it irresistible for a journalist to follow up.

    Buzz Mcclain
    Buzz McclainCommunications Manager, Schar School of Policy and Government, George Mason University

    Connect Pitches to Current Concerns

    As communications professionals, we need to understand what reporters and their audiences care about, so our pitches fit the conversation. That means keeping a close watch on what's hot in social and traditional media. For instance, if there's growing worry about road safety due to recent accidents, we might pitch a story about launching a citywide road-safety campaign. This could involve more police patrols, community programs, and improvements like new crosswalks, traffic signals, and bike lanes. By connecting our pitch to the current concern and offering solutions, we make it relevant to both reporters and the community, boosting the chances of media coverage and positive engagement with the city's efforts.

    Crystal Clark
    Crystal ClarkCommunications Manager, City of Tampa

    Leverage Real-Time Trend Monitoring

    Staying attuned to news cycles is our pitch-perfect strategy. We leverage tools for real-time monitoring, ensuring our pitches align with current trends. For instance, during a surge in remote-work discussions, we crafted a pitch emphasizing our client's innovative tools for virtual collaboration. This timely pitch not only resonated with journalists but also resulted in substantial media coverage, tapping into the heightened interest around remote-work solutions. Lesson learned: Anticipate trends. By proactively aligning pitches with ongoing news cycles, we not only capture media attention but also position our clients as industry leaders in tune with the zeitgeist.

    Himanshu Sharma
    Himanshu SharmaCEO & Founder, Academy of Digital Marketing

    Tailor Pitches to Breaking News

    Having a keen eye on real-time news is essential for the swift integration of media pitches into current news narratives. By staying updated with the latest developments, one is better positioned to tailor pitches that are relevant and timely, thereby improving the chances of media uptake. This approach ensures that content can be adjusted in response to breaking news, providing reporters and journalists with useful material when they need it most.

    Aligning pitches with the news cycle in this manner demonstrates an understanding of the media landscape and enhances the value of the content provided. Make sure to monitor the news regularly to maintain the relevance of your pitches.

    Forecast Trends with Data Analytics

    Employing data analytics tools offers a way to gain predictive insights into trending news topics. Analyzing past patterns and current data helps in forecasting potential news stories and thus proactively preparing pitches. Such preparedness allows for crafting stories that dovetail with emerging trends, projecting the pitch as insightful and forward-thinking.

    Furthermore, data-driven strategies can uncover niche topics that may resonate with specific audiences. Engage with data analytics platforms and let your pitches be informed by the science of prediction.

    Discover Trends with Social Listening

    Utilizing social listening tools can uncover trending conversations and topics that are ripe for media pitches. Social media is a real-time hub of public discourse and these tools tap into that source to discover what is engaging people at any given moment. Detecting these trends provides an opportunity to craft media pitches that speak directly to what is currently capturing public interest.

    This strategy not only increases the relevance of pitches but also amplifies the potential for engagement. Start leveraging social listening today to ensure your pitches resonate with current discussions.

    Align Pitches with Key Events

    Synchronizes pitch calendars with the timing of significant political or economic events to maximize relevance and impact. By doing so, one can ensure that pitches reflect the current socio-economic climate and contribute meaningfully to the discourse around these events. Anticipating these events and preparing pitches in advance demonstrates a strategic approach to media relations.

    This temporal alignment with key events shows that the pitch is not only relevant but also contributes to a larger conversation. Align your pitch calendar with these events to stay ahead of the curve.

    Capitalize on Cultural and Sports Events

    Aligning pitches with upcoming cultural or sports events can capitalize on the heightened interest and media coverage these events attract. Crafting pitches that can relate to or coincide with such events opens the door to associated themes, emotions, and audiences. It is an opportunity to weave a narrative that connects with the passion points of the public, improving the appeal and relatability of the pitch.

    This practice does not just offer the chance for more visibility but also allows for storytelling within the context of widely-anticipated happenings. Think about the next big cultural or sports event and tailor your pitches to ride the wave of excitement.