4 ways great email pitches are like movie trailers
By Megan Schuman
Crafting the perfect pitch is a fundamental skill for PR professionals: Create a message, tailor it to your audience, and include a call to action.
Journalists, bloggers, and other PR pros receive dozens of email pitches a day. To make your pitch stand out, take a page from movie marketers. They’re experts in capturing the audience’s attention in three minutes or less and leaving them on the edge of their seats.
Here are some things that movie trailers do that pitches ought to accomplish, too:
1. They grab the audience’s attention immediately
Because it’s your first impression, strive to craft the perfect subject line. Avoid spammy language, and focus on hooking the reader with a unique, personal, and informative subject line. The best movie trailers open with an iconic moment or scene. The first few seconds are pivotal as the audience decides whether to invest time in watching the rest of the trailer. To avoid having your email get ignored or deleted, front-load the important information in the beginning and in the subject line so it can be seen immediately, even in a preview of the email.
2. They have a distinct voice.
Great pitches and effective movie trailers have identifiable tones. Expect your reader to approach your pitch wanting to be surprised or impressed. Remember, they receive multiple pitches every day, so this is a way to make yours stand out.
People respond to a pitch that sounds like it comes from a real person rather than from a template, so write a pitch that actually sounds like you. Use a fresh tone to create a pitch that is conversational and friendly. When given the chance to be clever or witty, take it. Your audience will appreciate a little humor. No matter how you use your voice, be authentic and transparent.
3. They’re timely.
Coordinate your pitch with a relevant news story that your audience can relate to, even something they’ve written. Movie trailers are just one element of marketing blockbuster films; they’re timed precisely to the release of the movie, as well as other marketing tactics. Being timely with your pitch shows your audience that you have done your research and you are well versed in what’s going on in the world.
Do some background reading before writing your pitch. This research will afford you a more natural voice, as you’ll be more confident in the knowledge of whom and what you’re pitching.
4. They leave an audience wanting more.
Your pitch should pique your audience’s curiosity without giving it all away. The best trailers give the audience just enough information to hook them without giving away the storyline. Allow the audience to take it from there—doing their own research, assembling questions, and creating their own follow-up.
Your pitch’s call to action should be very clear. Do you want your recipient to share your resource, participate in an interview, or write an editorial article? Be clear—think about those big bold words at the end of a movie trailer stating the date of the movie release—and give your readers enough direction so they’re not left trying to dissect what you want.
Of course, my movie-trailer analogy doesn’t fit every case. Unlike some Hollywood trailers, your pitch should avoid hyperbole and bait-and-switch tactics. What you say in your pitch should be completely honest and transparent.
Megan Schuman is a media outreach specialist at DigitalRelevance. A version of this story originally appeared on the company’s blog.
womeninpr | April 1, 2014 at 3:09 pm | Categories: Uncategorized | URL: http://wp.me/p1LURR-yi
5 reasons women are effective PR leaders
This post can originally be found here
By Christine Pietryla
While women have made major strides in the workforce in the past few years, they hold on average fewer senior level positions than their male counterparts. This is even more striking in PR. Although nearly 80 percent of the public relations industry is comprised of women, about four out of every five leadership positions are held by men.
Our industry is missing out on an untapped resource.
An Open Forum study comparing growth of firms led by men and women revealed that women-owned companies have been more successful than their male counter parts, growing at nearly double the rate in the last several years. A separate Catalyst study showed that companies with the most women in senior management had higher returns on equities—by more than a third.
Why are women such effective leaders?
1. Women are active listeners. Women know when it’s time to listen and tend to be more empathetic than men. We’re able to more clearly understand the needs of others because we connect on a deeper level. This enables us to be more attuned to client’s needs and more sincere in the delivery of language, creating the possibility for satisfied, long-term customers.
2. Women tend to be more social. Studies show that women are more social than men, leading to higher rates of effective collaboration and creativity within a business. We’re also extremely social with technology. A recent study by Moosylvania revealed that women are more likely to use smartphones and tablets than men to seek interaction. Women are comfortable making connections with both acquaintances and strangers, which can be a huge driver for new business.
3. Women are plugged into current events. Women are more likely to stay up-to-date with the news and apply it to clients and workplace issues. While men have better special capacity for mental rotation, women outperform men in spatial memory and executing multiple tasks as once, such as scrolling the news, answering a phone, and reflecting on a problem. This also makes women effective at strategizing solutions.
4. Women are more effective in group settings. Women aren’t afraid to speak with others about issues and stress. We’re better connectors. Although there isn’t a direct link between IQs of members on a team, a recent Harvard Business Review study found that a group including women tends to have a higher collective intelligence. Our natural ability to communicate allows us to better paint a picture of the future.
5. The “big picture” is more in-focus for women leaders. While men typically focus on money and larger gains, women tend to focus on the bigger picture and be more risk averse. A recentAccenture survey shows women are likely to care about work-life balance over money, fostering an environment for overall success at a company.
This article sparked quite a debate in our offices—and we’d love to hear what you have to say in the comments. We don’t judge a person’s competence by his or her gender, but even in our office we have more men in leadership positions than women despite the staff being largely female. No one could pinpoint why, but we agreed the PR industry would benefit by better leveraging the strength of women in leadership positions.
Christine Pietryla is the senior vice president of public relations at Walker Sands Communications.
This story first appeared on PR Daily in March 2013.
womeninpr | March 24, 2014 at 11:52 am | Tags: how to pitch, Interns, PR, PR and Twitter, PR Daily, PR Newbies, pR tips, PR101, public relations, WIPR, Women In Public Relations | Categories: Public Relations Tips | URL: http://wp.me/p1LURR-xU
Twitter is by no means a new platform, yet for some reason, many PR pros—and professionals of all stripes—continue to misuse, misunderstand and not fully take advantage of it. Here are four common mistakes PR professionals are making on Twitter, and how they can fix them.
Lacking personality: With their clients, co-workers and other peers following them, many PR pros fear being too personal on Twitter. However, it is certainly possible to remain professional and showcase your personality at the same time. At CooperKatz & Co. we constantly preach how incorporating our personalities into our writing enhances it, and the same holds true when restricted to 140 characters.
Maintaining two separate accounts: Maintaining two Twitter accounts—one for personal and one for professional usage—may have been acceptable years ago, but it has since become largely frowned upon, and for good reason. After all, if you’re saying something to your friends on Twitter that you wouldn’t say to your colleagues, you probably shouldn’t be saying it on the Internet at all.
Playing fast and loose with manual retweets: As PR pros, we know that we don’t just write tweets—wecraft them. Everything down to the punctuation is intentional. Thus, if you’re going to manually retweet a tweet (meaning copying and pasting a tweet with “RT” in front of it, as opposed to hitting the “Retweet” button), don’t change the original tweeter’s writing. Or, if you need to for space reasons, be sure to use “MT,” which stands for modified tweet, to clearly indicate that changes have been made.
Direct message abuse: For active Twitter users—which most journalists are, as well as many consumers—a Twitter direct message inbox is more personal than an email inbox. After all, you can only send a direct message to a user who is following you. So if you’d like to reach out to a journalist or consumer on Twitter, tweet at them; don’t spam their direct message inbox. Doing the latter is more likely to get you an unfollow than a positive response.
Fully taking advantage of Twitter and using it correctly will undoubtedly improve your performance at work. It’s time for all PR pros to take Twitter seriously.
Ben Murray is an account coordinator at CooperKatz & Co. Inc. He tweets @benmurr.
womeninpr | April 1, 2014 at 2:47 pm | Tags: PR Newbies, pR tips, Social Media Tips, twitter tips, women in pr pr tips pr newbies Public relations, Women In Public Relations | Categories: Social Media | URL: http://wp.me/p1LURR-ye