Publicists are strategists. A primary component of their value is the ability to think and act strategically on behalf of clients. We take a lot of things into consideration when making our pitches to the media including:
- Is the media outlet appropriate?
- What is the size and scope of the audience?
- Has someone or something else similar to this client recently been featured? Depending on the situation this might be a good thing, or a bad thing.
- Is the client ready to be on camera? Starting with local media could build confidence and experience.
- Should we focus on TV, radio, print or new media outlets? All of the above, some of the above, etc.? If so, why or why not?
- Is this the right time? Are we coming into seasonal challenges, or does the client have a stronger story happening a couple of months down the road? Are people overwhelmed with stories like these already?
So, these are typical strategic questions that most PR people will consider before pitching a client. But what about just plain, old-fashioned intuition? Does instinct and gut reactions figure into this? Absolutely. As in any business, sometimes you just need to go with what feels right. More often than not, your gut will tell you to dig someone’s name up from your media lists, or to consider a totally new show or outlet. It’s hard to explain to the client, sometimes, exactly why you’re pitching this show, instead of that. But more often than not, your intuition is guiding the pitching and only later will you realize that it all made perfect sense.
Even if the pitches don’t come through, you might walk away with a clearer understanding of how your pitch does or doesn’t resonate. This information is invaluable and will save you a lot of time and energy and certainly will influence the trajectory of your pitches.
But when they do come through, watch out! You’ve logically considered all of the viable options, but you succeeded in managing to cut through the noise (as well as the noise in your head) and your instincts were right. Maybe your client was dead set against radio because of one bad experience, but you urged them to do just this one show and voila! It was the best interview ever.
So do your homework, but also trust your intuition. Maintaining a balance will yield great results.