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Disregard the press announce - heres how to pitch like roger clemens - pr


Stripped down to its core, hype is barely more than one
person persuading another. You, the exposure seeker, must
persuade a journalist that your story is admirable of receiving
print space or air time. Your aptitude to sell your story to a
journalist is what it's all about.

If you've ever sat with an cover salesman who droned on and
on, you doubtless know that simpler is change for the better when it comes to
persuasion. A few amount words, a brief, well-reasoned argument
and a beefy close can make the sale. Too much detail, too much
rambling and too much pontification can kill a deal.

When diving a journalist, the same rules apply, Keep your
pitch short and to the point -- and the domino effect will come.

Unfortunately, many establishment advertising seekers -- and even some
old pros -- disregard this advice. In its place of charge equipment short,
they seek to overwhelm journalists with multi-page press
releases, broad backgrounders and lengthy fact sheets. If
they even get read (and most just go completely to the trash) these
voluminous press kits only serve to bury your main disagreement in a
blizzard of verbiage.

That's why I love pitch letters.

A pitch dispatch is a brief affair letter, about never longer
than one page. It can accompany a press release, or it can stand
on its own. Pitch correspondence serve one drive -- to pique the
journalist's advantage in your story. They needn't tell the whole
story. Rather, they are "teasers" for the meat of your story
angle. If you've hooked the journalist with your pitch letter,
you have a real attempt of in receipt of the rest of your press
materials read -- and your story placed.

Pitch inscription can be sent by snail mail but, increasingly,
they're the complete tool for e-mail contact. Too many publicity
seekers send full press releases by e-mail when a few brief
paragraphs would serve their cause far better.

If you're e-mailing a pitch communication to a journalist there are
three rules to follow:

1. Keep it short. Try to limit your pitch to two or three

2. Never send attachments. In this era of worms and viruses,
that's bad netiquette.

3. Take the time to craft a short, snappy headline. You don't
have to tell your story in the headline -- just make it
intriguing an adequate amount for the journalist to click "open", not

Whether your distribution it on paper or electronically, here's how to
put as one a biting pitch letter, step-by-step:

* Start off with your best shot

In the first sentence, try to give the reporter amazing that
will make him say any "Gee, I never knew that" or "That's an
interesting angle for a story". Or beat yet, try to get him to
say both things! Don't mess about with formalities, and don't
bury your angle in hype. Here's an case of a pitch communication we
used to promote "the world's biggest game of Pictionary":

Mr. Joe Smith
Features Editor
The Daily Be an indication of
Anytown, OH 44444

Dear Mr. Smith:

On November 19, all through halftime of the California- Stanford game,
80,000 citizens will make history.

They'll be ration to create a New World Background by
participating in the main participatory game in chronicle -- a
monumental round of Pictionary, led by the Stanford Marching

Straight to point and no nonsense. Just the way a reporter wants

Here's an added case in point -- one that fits the "Gee, I didn't know
that" category. It's to promote the countrywide winner of a contest
sponsored by one of our clients:

Dear Mr. Smith:

A miracle has bloomed and is now being harvested in the heart of
the South Bronx.

What used to be a trash-filled empty lot sheltered with used
hypodermic needles and crack vials is now a spectacular 2 1/2-
acre functioning farm. Every day, under the on the alert eye of Garden
Director and hardened gardener Jack O'Connor, dozens of
neighborhood young people come to tend their plot plots, sing
songs, hear poetry and learn about nature. Jack has only one rule
of thumb: Beforehand the fun starts, the day's lessons must be

* Affect your pitch

Even if you have only one account of a press release, you can
still aim your pitch to a actual media channel by crafting
a certain pitch letter. The determination of the pitch epistle in this
case -- to frame the story in a way that makes it clear to the
journalist that it fits in with that media outlet's approach.

Here's a epistle we wrote to The Paul Harvey Show to pitch the
story after one of our clients, a board game ballet company called The
Games Gang. It resulted in a story on Mr. Harvey's show -- one of
the main advertising hits you can get.

Notice that it's on paper in a arrange and style analogous to what
you might hear on The Paul Harvey Show. We also played up the
"senior" category of the Games Gang members, as chief citizens
make up a big portion of their listenership.

Here's the letter:

Mr. John Smith
"The Paul Harvey Show"
Anytown, OH 44444

Dear John,

In June, 1986, a group of experienced person toy sales ancestors (average age:
60) were told there was no more room for them at the company
they'd served for more than 30 years.

They didn't slip inaudibly into retirement, however. Instead, they
set out to prove the toy activity wrong -- to show that
experience and commonsense are the keys to success.

They've done it.

The circle they formed, The Games Gang, has taken the games
industry by storm. They've beaten the odds by creating one of the
most flourishing games in American annals -- Pictionary -- and
following it up with a different hit, Balderdash. Today, 10 million
games later, the "Over The Hill Gang" is at the top of the game
heap, having surpassed their superior -- and younger -- rivals.

We think your addressees and readers, above all those who feel as
if their best days are at the back of them, will find the story of The
Games Gang a real inspiration. We hope you agree.

I'll be in touch soon.


Bill Stoller

* Show how your story relates to the reporter's audience

Did you catch this line in the Paul Harvey pitch letter?

"We think your addressees and readers, in particular those who feel
as if their best days are after them, will find the story of The
Games Gang a real inspiration. "

That's the line that almost certainly put the story over the top. We took
what was broadly a corporate story and demonstrated that it
could have consequence to a wide group of spectators -- even those who
don't play board games or care about entrepreneurs.

Try to find a superior theme in your story, in particular one that
fits with the mission of the media channel you're pitching.

Pitch correspondence are astonishing and often underused tools. Just keep
them short, get to the point, try to show how your story can
appeal to a wide listeners and, where appropriate, have a little
fun, and you'll be diving like a pro!

Bill Stoller, the "Publicity Insider", has spent two decades as
one of America's top publicists. Now, all the way through his website, eZine
and subscription newsletter, Free Publicity: The Newsletter for
PR-Hungry Businesses http://www. PublicityInsider. com/freepub. asp,
he's allotment -- for the very first time -- his secrets of scoring
big publicity. For free articles, killer hype tips and
much, much more, visit Bill's absolute new site:
http://www. publicityInsider. com/


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