Have you ever been forced to sell anything door to door? Whether it was cookies, wrapping paper or window tint, the anxiety of ringing doorbell after doorbell is enough to make even the sweetest of cookie pushers cringe.
That is how I felt the first time I was presented with the idea of pitching. Developing mass lists of reporters and shooting out my news to them, how could I? If I couldn’t even successfully convince my childhood neighbor to eat Thin Mints, how am I going to convince a reporter to write a story?
Frankly, I felt like I was spamming them. I think this is a common feeling that any one on the verge of clicking “send” to a list of 100 people would experience. Or maybe I was just paranoid. And rightly so. Are we all, as The Bad Pitch Blog so eloquently points out, “just a bunch of list-makers who don’t stop to see who we are bothering in the middle of the day?”
As a “noob” to the industry, I’ve had a love/hate relationship with pitching, and in the eight short months that I’ve been pitching, I’ve learned three key things that professors don’t always tell you is going to happen:
1. Some reporters just aren’t going to be nice to you and they are way to busy to care.
It’s just a fact. They are human. If you had people telling you how to do your job all day, you’d be a little short on the sunshine too.
2. Get to the point.
Say what you mean and say it fast. Be interesting, but concise. It’s an art!
3. “ PR is a contact sport”
I know I said these are things that professors don’t tell you about, but this is actually a direct quote from a professor of mine, but he is so right. When it comes to pitching, digging in and dissecting those infamous lists and really getting to the core of who really cares, makes hitting send a lot less frightening.
So, what have you learned as a “noob?”