Before you start to think about your plan for pitching a campaign, there are a number of questions you and your media agency need to ask yourselves:
- What are you launching?
- Which sectors are you launching across?
- Who are you targeting?
- What is your objective?
You need to have your end goal in mind before you do any other planning – this will keep you and your team on track, and make sure you get the results you need.
There is no one size fits all approach to pitching a campaign, but there are specific things you need to keep in mind throughout the process, which we will explore here.
- Work with your agency to determine desired outcomes
This is the most important part of launching a campaign. You need to have clear goals and you need to work with your internal team and agency to determine them. Ask yourself how the campaign will help you work towards your business objectives along with the tangible results you’re looking to achieve, and relay these to your agency. Nailing these down before launch will mean you’re all aligned from the onset, and can use this to form your plan of action.
- Prioritising the pitching plan
Are you going with a sector-by-sector strategy, or is it better if you pitch the nationals and broadcast outlets first? Will you be offering an exclusive to any publications, and how will this impact your launch day coverage?
The answer to these questions ties back to the previous section. If you want national hits to raise brand awareness then you can go with the exclusive approach, as this will guarantee you a big splash on the go-live date. If it would be more impactful for the business to secure coverage in trade publications across a range of verticals, such as retail, technology, financial services, then go with pitching all the publications under embargo so you can get a number of pieces lined up in advance.
As an FYI for those who don’t know, an embargo is a period of time that the story can be pitched to a journalist ahead of the launch date for them to review before it goes live, so they have time to research and write the story. At Gallium, we would normally recommend a three-week embargo period to give journalists enough time to research and write the story, but understand this isn’t always possible, so just plan to give as much time as you can. As we all know, you need reporters on-side when it comes to pitching a campaign. The relationship between a journalist and PR is meant to be mutually beneficial, and PRs should understand the pinch points and pressures that journalists face, and do what they can to give them what they need for the story to work.
- Align, and go, go, go!
Things can get messy and go awry when you have different teams working across different parts of the project, but there are steps you can put in place to make sure processes are streamlined. As always, communication is key. Your agency should be keeping you updated with any interest secured during the embargo period, which gives you an opportunity to ask questions.
It is then up to you to share these updates with the rest of the comms team and send any feedback to your agency. Every step of the journey is a learning experience and it’s vital that your agency has this feedback so they can shift strategies as necessary, to make sure you’re on track to meet the business objectives. For example, does the internal team think you have enough trade press interest secured, and need to move on to something else? Or have you heard that there needs to be a bigger push for broadcast? Have these conversations as you’re going along rather than at the end of the campaign so that you can pivot in your strategy and get the results you need.
Again, there is no one set approach to pitching a campaign. A lot of it relies on you and your agency asking the right questions, but by determining objectives at the start and keeping activities aligned, your campaign is likely to turn out well.
Alternatively, you could turn to a well-experienced consultancy such as Gallium Ventures, with already established relationships with key journalists, to support your communications and campaign efforts to ensure its success. We’re always happy to have a chat to see ways in which we can help.