Pitch vs Press Release
Which works better a media pitch or press release?
When it comes to gaining the attention of journalists, there is no set solution. For some sectors and in some cases, a press release can be the best way to get your news out, particularly if you are sharing financial news or company milestones.
However, in many cases a media pitch is definitely a better option. Here's why.
A media pitch is invariably more targeted
With your press release, you are blasting your information out into the media to anyone and everyone who might be interested. Press releases, by their very nature are more promotional and as they are self-written, they can sound like and advertisement. With your media pitch, you can be much more targeted in your approach. You will research the specific reporters and editors who already cover your news topic. Then you can craft your pitch so that is tailored to their interests and the interests of their audiences. This increases the chances that your pitch will be read and considered, rather than being ignored.
More personal, effective approach
By it's very nature a media pitch is more personal and often more informal than a press release which is a very formal, factual way of communicating.
With a media pitch, you can be less formal and use your own language more. This can help you build solid relationships with editors and reporters, which in turn may make them more likely to cover your pitch and future stories.
A media pitch can be more flexible
Since it’s not published verbatim, you an be flexible and adjust your approach as needed and as you follow through with differing conversations or journalist requests. You can have a conversation with the reporter or editor. By doing so, you can get instant feedback on your pitch ideas and amend them to suit.
With a press release, it can be difficult to make changes especially if it is factual. A press release is a finished product which requires little two-way conversation, whereas the pitch is more a conversation starter. At the end of the day, your goal is to get media coverage for your business, charity or organisation. As a pitch has a more personalised approach, they often lead to editorial coverage, not just verbatim copies of a press release.
If you run a small or growing business and potentially have a smaller budget, a media pitch is often more cost effective than a press release. You will not have to pay for your pitch to be distributed as you can reach out to your chosen reporters and editors directly.
A more timely approach
With drafting, revising and approving a press release, there can be a significant delay between when you conceive it and when it’s actually published. But with a media pitch, you can often get a story published much more quickly (or at least get attention for an interview more quickly). It’s harder to hook to a timely news trend with a press release.
I'm not opposed to press releases. It's just that they have their place in the PR world and sometimes pulling together a pitch is worth considering.