PressDope Minisode: When Telling Less of Your Story Makes for More Effective Media Outreach
If there’s one thing that’s classically entrepreneurial, it’s the idea of more. More ideas, more customers, more press, more growth, more reach, more everything. While that hunger for and drive toward more so often serves business owners well, there are times when focusing on the more can actually detract from your most pressing goals.
You’ve likely heard about choosing one thing, the lean approach to business building and entrepreneurial minimalism in books like this one and this one and this one (and given the theme here, I probably should have stuck to mentioning just one, right?), and that idea extends beyond basic business ops into marketing and PR as well.
All too often, brands set out to pitch the media with their well-crafted story, and that story is full of details and history and nuance. And while that’s all well and good – and follows a lot of boiler plate PR advice – it’s not always the best approach.
Listen to the PressDope Minisode
Sometimes, just as is the case with adopting a streamlined approach to building a business, opting for a less-is-more approach to your PR and media outreach can actually open up more opportunity in the long run.
Read on for three reasons I often recommend that independent and ethical fashion brands hold back parts of their incredible stories when they’re prepping to get the word out.
Bite-sized pitches leave more on the table for the future
Say you create a pitch that includes every single aspect of your brand story, its products and latest news hook. Everything is in there, and the story is really fleshed out. Hey, let’s even say it’s super compelling, timely and great imagery is available to go with it. Perfect, right? Well yes and no. You send out your pitch, follow up diligently and interact with the media who are interested. You wrap the campaign. Six weeks later, your team starts thinking about your next media moment. You have a few new products coming out, but what’s truly new and different? You’ve already told your entire story in the previous pitch, and that’s going to make it infinitely more difficult to craft a new pitch that will grab your media targets’ attention in a meaningful way.
The next time you’re prepping to pitch, consider how you can shrink that pitch down so it’s bite-sized, easy to understand quickly and tied to a clear piece of news or cultural trend that will be of interest to the media, but don’t reveal everything. Be choosy about what you’re sharing. It may feel like you’re not letting your targets in on everything your brand has to offer, but if they want to know more, it’s the media’s job to know how to ask. When it’s time to begin brainstorming your next pitch, you’ll have much more to pull from without having to wait for a major company milestone.
Specific angles are far easier to target effectively
When you get specific, the constraint you’re putting around your pitch naturally makes it easier to narrow down the list of media targets you’ll be reaching out to. It’s common practice for PR agencies to pitch as many journalists as they can find with news that’s irrelevant just in hopes of getting a lucky hit or two, but it’s not an effective method for building and sustaining solid relationships with journalists over the longterm. There are PR people who have been sending me idiotically misguided pitches for years when all they’d have to do is check my social media profiles or my LinkedIn profile to know beyond a shadow of a doubt that I’m not going to be interested in their news (cars? European government policy? telecom innovations? nope). Guess what happens when I see their emails hit my inbox? Instant delete. Eventually, guess what happens with their emails? Gmail picks up on my behavior and starts sending them to my spam folder.
Keeping a tight grip on what you’re pitching and to whom not only makes managing a campaign from within your company an easier task, it makes it possible to send an earnest email capable of convincing a journalist or influencer to give your news a second look.
Streamlining your PR makes it easier to DIY with consistency
At PressDope, we’re focused on creating content and tools to help independent entrepreneurs and small business owners find new ways to incorporate PR and media outreach into their daily business operations. So as you can imagine, the majority of our Strategy Session clients and members take a DIY approach to public relations and media outreach. While there are a handful of clients and members who work with us and also work with PR agencies, we’re typically talking to entrepreneurs who are overloaded with things to do. And anyone who’s tried to do media outreach knows how much of a beast it can be.
For that reason alone, slimming down your pitches has serious benefits. Because a bite-sized pitch is one you’re almost certainly going to target at a very specific group of media who are predisposed to wanting to hear your news, you as the entrepreneur are going to have fewer emails to customize and send, fewer contacts and conversations to track and fewer pitches to follow up on in the future.
Here’s to bringing some minimalism into your media outreach in the weeks and months ahead.
If you’re a member of PressDope, check out the library of fashion email pitch templates for help the next time you’re reaching out to the media with news from your brand.