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Reworking your pitch

It is not uncommon for a PR professional to prepare a detailed and well-researched pitch for a feature on behalf of a client, only for the media to give it a big thumbs down. So how can you reword, repackage and re-sell your client’s idea to get coverage? Here are four tips to help you make your feature article more interesting to editors:

• The most common reason content is rejected is because it’s overly self-promotional and written in an obviously slanted, marketing way. When your pitch isn’t working, this should be the first thing you should address. Rework it with a critical editor’s eye. Take out the subjective and be more objective. Getting your client’s brand name, product or service out there is the name of the game. Coverage with a lack of promotion is still coverage and arguably has even greater value than a piece that reads like an advertorial. This is because with an advertorial, readers can detect they are being sold to. Less is sometimes more.

• Managing your client’s expectations is essential when reworking a pitch. They might think that their carpet cleaner is the most exciting development on earth, but that doesn’t mean everyone else will. Take some time to figure out how you can make your content more exciting, perhaps by adding topical information to make it catchier. If there is some development already in the news relating to the industry, use this to position your client as a leading market commentator offering a knowledgeable and seasoned perspective.

• Consider adding charts, graphs, pictures, and multimedia to your text. An editor will appreciate visual elements when it’s time to publish, so get ahead by crafting your content around something that is visually compelling and adds another dimension to the written word.

• Some of my most successful pitches have come from offering the editor a selection of by-line angles that they can pick and choose from. This way, instead of trying to force-feed them, you’re offering them a number of choices that allows them more flexibility. This form of consideration can help establish a mutually beneficial relationship – which, along with getting your client coverage, is exactly what you are aiming to achieve!

Good luck with reworking your pitch!