Marketing Genius from Maple Creative


Marketing tips, observations & philosophy, plus a few rants and random musings - from those who practice, preach and teach marketing, research, advertising, public relations and business strategy.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Story Pitch 101: Headlines & Deadlines

Recently, my colleague, Skip, and I have been been engaged in some major story pitch -in markets near and far! I'm happy to say we've been rather successful. In fact, we're batting 1,000.

To what do we attribute such success? Well, to be honest there are a lot of factors to our success. First, these pitches have been newsworthy - relevant and compelling. They've been timely. They've tied in with the national news cycle. And, we've called upon our relationships - old and new alike (that's a whole other story for a future post).

But perhaps the most important thing that we've done may surprise you in its simplicity. We've kept the headlines simple and to the point.

You'd be amazed how much a simple, straightforward headline can aid you in your media pitch efforts. It makes sense. Think about it.

First, you don't know every reporter in your market (even if you claim otherwise) let alone those outside it, so the ability to get their attention quickly is of paramount importance. Second, like the agency environment, the media is very deadline driven. So, if the reporter has to figure out the headline or ask 'what's that mean to me and my readers/viewers,' you're wasting their time and yours and you're killing your chances of coverage before they even read the first sentence.

So, keep it simple!

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Blogger Skip Lineberg said...


Media relations - what a thrilling, tricy, hair-raising thrill-ride of a profession! So many people think that you just slap together a press release and zip it out there to the world. But as your great article illustrates, there's so much strategy, planning and craft to it. I appreciate all that I've learned from you, the Maple master of media.


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