Turning News and Research Into a PR Pitch
In my first two months as an intern at Caster, I’ve quickly learned a lot about real-world public relations. Research tactics and media list creation projects have been the foundation to learn about the technology industries Caster works in, and so far, my favorite but most challenging task is drafting a pitch. I just started research and writing a pitch for a case study about how InFocus technology was incorporated in an all-girls center in Florida.
Caster focuses on background, research, and understanding our clients, their industries, and technologies. To start on my pitch, I’m researching media in the client’s space, making notes of the content they seemed interested in. I also did extensive research about the case study and InFocus to give myself the background I need to start writing by viewing their website and the products they make as well as reading other pieces that covered InFocus. I then used Cision, a PR database that holds contact information for publications and authors, to search for writers and publications that cover education technology. Through my background research, I got a better understanding for creating pitch angles for stories for a few different publications.
Crafting a pitch is new to me; I’m unfamiliar with the writing style and the amount of research that is needed to write a simple, 120-word, email. I’m enjoying how writing the pitch gave me an inside look into how InFocus technology benefits classrooms through the case study, and it’s been a great way for me to learn the tactics that go into writing a pitch and finding media contacts.
I have learned the fundamentals of crafting a pitch through my PR coursework in school, but until I tried to write a pitch for a real case study, I didn’t realize how difficult it could be! In my classes, we are always taught to elaborate on our writing, always write as much as you can. But here I’ve learned that when it comes to pitching to the media, that’s not the case. PR News says it’s important to keep pitches short, to-the-point, and relevant. But it’s challenging to summarize the information of a three-page case study into just a few short, interesting sentences.
I appreciated the way writing a pitch forced me to rethink my writing style. My first step in creating the pitch was to think about how I was going to catch the right media’s attention, using what I’d learned in my research. After drafting (and redrafting) my ideas, I worked on a few angles that I think conveyed the basic main ideas of the case study. I learned that the subject line is important to make media contacts want to open my email, which was difficult but fun to draft. I took to my notebook, and after jotting down about 10 quirky subject lines, I chose the one that I thought was the most interesting but at the same time, gave a glimpse into what the pitch was about. After writing, I’ll start pitching journalists to see if they want to cover the case study.
All of my tasks at Caster are a learning process. In this project, I learned more about the education technology field and my own writing style, and I’m excited to see how it works! Drafting my first pitch was challenging, and it’s rewarding as an intern to make progress towards becoming a PR professional. Follow me on twitter to stay updated on the rest of my journey with Caster Communications. @PaytonStLawren1