How To Pitch The Press: The Secret Of Conflict
How to pitch the press? There’s a secret to this that seldom gets talked about.
That’s a good question. Most public PR advice focus in on newsworthiness, uniqueness, and differentiation.
These factors works to some extent for sure, but they are seldom enough. Not for proper spin.
This is because there isn’t editorial space for everything that qualifies as news to each and every one of us. Hence the importance of social media, right?
So therefore, when thinking about what to pitch the press, go for the CONFLICT.
Let me explain this in more detail.
You’re Probably Not As Edgy As You Think
Your company launching a new business area or service is generally boring. Stepping into your competitors area is not.
Of course, companies like Google might seem like exceptions, but the conflict here’s oh my, they are getting big, isn’t this becoming a bit creepy?
Hiring people is seldom interesting. Unless you snatch talent from somewhere, or if you are hiring in an area where jobs are scarce.
Selling a new line of products online only gets interesting as long as you can show that those who are selling the same products offline are losing their customers.
Position Yourself Against Evil
It’s basic storytelling (see Storytelling Elements [Infographic]), really. If you want to pitch a winner, there must be a loser.
For every hero there must be a villain. And for every supersmart business venture there must be thousands of businesses that are getting it wrong.
Stories without the element of conflict are often times boring stories. There is no risk in it for our hero, no adventure, no nerve.
I didn’t invent this media logic mechanism, neither did the journalists. But it’s the way of things, I guess.
But remember, you don’t necessarily have to point fingers. As long as there’s a conflict, the journalist will figure it out.
Journalists are extremely smart about these things — they are in fact trained to find it. But however outspoken or not, the conflict must be there, lurking around in the shadows somewhere.
Without it, chances are your pitch is toast.