Pitch perfect – How to pitch yourself as a media source
Being interviewed as a source for a real estate story at a local newspaper or magazine is a great way to get press for your business for free, spreading the word about your brand and work. Act as your own publicist to pitch compelling, newsworthy ideas to local publications. Here are a few tips for a successful pitch.
Research timely topics
If you don’t already, comb through the real estate and finance sections of your local newspapers and websites to identify new regulatory changes, laws or developments happening in your region. Think about how you can add an informed perspective to a topic like how interest rate hikes or changes in landlord-tenant laws might affect homeowners. Even better if you’ve identified a new law or change happening in the next month or two, as this will encourage the publication you’re pitching to run the story sooner, instead of waiting for a gap in their schedule.
Sure, a mention in The Globe and Mail or Toronto Star would be incredibly influential for your brand. But these publications are inundated with pitches. You’ll find more success with smaller scale outlets specific to a single town or region you work in. From there, you can gain credibility as a reliable source and work your way up to mentions in larger publications.
It might be useful to think of your pitches as cover letters. Sure, you might get traction by sending out the same generic pitch (cover letter) to a dozen publications (employers). But taking the time to research each publication and customize your pitch will lead to greater success. Perhaps one publication caters more towards millennials and another to retirees. You should customize your pitches to reflect this.
Follow up (respectfully)
Journalists are busy, so it may take some time for them to reply back to your inquiry. A polite follow up in a week or two can help flag your pitch in their inbox, but avoid phone calls or multiple follow-ups in a week unless the journalist has requested it.