By Chance Shay, Communications Strategist
It seems like we PR and marketing pros are always competing for attention: attention from bloggers and journalists, attention from partners and special interest groups, attention from customers.
As attention spans dwindle, the opportunity (i.e. time) to communicate effectively to these groups is dwindling as well. Long gone are the days when customers see an advertisement and make a purchase decision without texting friends for opinions, checking Yelp reviews, scanning recent coverage of the product and soliciting input from each of their social networks.
Same goes for the era when journalists had 4-5 days to write a single story (reversing the numbers would be more accurate today – 1 day for 4-5 stories). Professional communicators must adapt.
Our job now is to explain why the person should care about whatever it is we want them to care about, as quickly and succinctly as possible. In today’s world of infinite access to limitless information, if you don’t pitch an article, product or concept in one sentence, you’re doing it wrong.
It might seem counter intuitive to the idea that all brands must tell a story, but it isn’t. You must tell your brand’s story in just one sentence. Make people care without wasting a breath or key stroke.
The smart folks at PR Daily put together the helpful list of tips below to make your short pitch even better. You can read the full article here and be sure to check out the screenshot of Wall Street Journal writer Christopher Mims’ recent tweet.
- Identify what you want and are offering. Is it an interview, in-person meeting, contributed article or slideshow? Don’t make them guess.
- Use hyperlinks. If you’re offering an interview with an executive or other leader, include a hyperlink to a bio of that expert. You don’t have to include everything upfront, but you do have to make it easy for the reporter to get more information if she or he is interested.
- Think like a reporter. What is going to interest the specific reporter you are targeting? If it’s a conversation about why a technology hasn’t taken off yet, say so. If it’s commentary about a recent news article, be clear and concise about the executive’s unique perspective on it.
- Consider Twitter. Check out Kristen Raymaakers recent post for tips.
- Cut—and then cut some more. What can the executive talk about? In one line, make it compelling and short, in both the body of the email and the subject line.