Sunday, July 13, 2008

The Common Elements of Effective PR and Baseball Pitching

We’ve adopted the term “pitching” from that great American pastime – baseball. In our field, it means communicating with a reporter to urge him or her to write or produce a story about whatever you are pitching. Sometimes the pitch is over the phone, in recent years, it’s been done by e-mail. But there have been other forms as well. Unfortunately, pitches are sometimes directed to anyone who will listen – and to many who won’t.

But we have to remember the key elements of pitching in baseball. The pitch is directed at one bat at a time, it is strategic (curveball, slider, changeup), and it is really, really fast.

I am not an expert in media pitching. Perhaps you are. Perhaps you’ve figured out how to peak the interest of a reporter in less than two minutes on the phone. But have you ever done so in the equivalent of 140 characters?

That’s what Twitpitch does. Using Twitter, you can pitch in less than 140 characters -- counting spaces. The concept came from the brain of big-time blogger, Stowe Boyd. And now, Business Week has published an article about it, featuring Stowe and Brian Solis.

If you have already taken my advice and gotten aboard Twitter, you’re all set up to try this out. Once you’ve gotten your pitch nailed down to 140 characters for Twitpitching, you’ll also be better prepared for e-mail and phone pitching. That’s because, you’ll be focused on targeting your pitch, being strategic about your message and being lightening fast.

Let me know how it goes!


Jennifer said...

I couldn't agree more with the premise of the Twitpitch. I have used it several times alrady with success. Interestingly, though, when I tried to log on today, our IT director had blocked the site. Anyone else dealing with this situation? How did you argue it back to being open?

Kami Huyse said...

Actually, I wanted to mention that the "Twitpitch" works much better if you already have a relationship with the reporter. In fact, some of them are not interested in being "pitched" per se, but instead are interested in learning inside information they wouldn't have found otherwise.