The last couple of posts have been centered around the importance of creating an editorial calendar or content calendar for you and your book. If you haven’t already done so, you can read about them here and here.
Part of the recommended year-long plan on your content calendar will include pitching earned media. Because that’s my area of expertise, or “my lane” if you will, I thought it might be helpful to explore some different types of pitches that can not only help you get YOUR mind around what you’re suggesting to the media, but also to help THEM understand exactly what you’re pitching. The actual topic is customized to you and your book, of course, but these pitches are templates — or formats, if you will — for the various ways you can present your work.
Here are a few of the different types so pitches you can use:
Evergreen pitches: These are story ideas that can run at any time and aren’t tied to a news story or an event on the calendar. These are often tips stories like do’s and don’t for just about anything. Or how-to articles, e.g., how to get rid of your clutter forever in five easy steps.
Note: Chances are the subject has been covered before, so point to something new that you are offering, whatever they may be. There could be some new research, or new ways of doing what you’re suggesting. Again, always look to be unique.
News tie-in stories. Many people call this “hijacking” or “hijacked news stories” but I bristle at that. You are offering a story that is supplemental to the news story. You’re not taking it over, which is what the word hijack implies. It is, however, a way to bring attention to you, your book or business.
Note: If you know the reporter, writer, editor, producer, remind him or her of your earlier work together. They deal with a lot of different people every day, so even though you worked together before, don’t expect them to remember you specifically. Remind them and hopefully they will!
Seasonal pitches: This is fairly self explanatory. Your pitches relate to the seasons and/or something on the calendar. There are stories on the actual seasons, or the holidays, Halloween, New Year, New You.
Note: I often focus on one particular story idea, but I do offer several options just in case the one I highlight isn’t what they respond to. I love to give options. However, don’t make this long. Just use a bullet point for each additional idea.
Marketing Awareness Pitches: Months, weeks, days. Chase’s Calendar of Events used to be the big one, but many others have gotten into the game now. Companies, products, causes, and services apply for a special month, week or day, e.g., “Today is Talk Like a Pirate Day,” which was created by two authors. You get published and known for this and you can use it in your publicity efforts to promote your book. (Others can tie into it too, of course.) I often include some of the special events at the beginning of a new month, so if it sounds familiar, that’s why.
And, in fact, it’s almost October, so let’s take a look at the possibilities for this coming month. Is there anything on the list below that you could tie into and make your book and topic newsworthy again?
- Adopt A Shelter Dog Month
- Bat Appreciation Month
- Breast Cancer Awareness Month
- Down Syndrome Awareness Month
- Dyslexia Awareness Month
- Eat Better, Eat Together Month
- Emotional Intelligence Awareness Month
- Financial Planning Month
- Global Diversity Awareness Month
- Halloween Safety Month
- LGBT History Month
There are other special causes celebrated in October, but we only had room for some of them. Until next time…
To your success!
P.S. In honor of Adopt a Shelter Dog Month.
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