A couple of days ago, I helped prepare Natalia, a colleague, for her Hispanic media pitching debut. After a brief chat, I drafted the following email:
As we discussed, the following are some personal recommendations when pitching to Hispanic media outlets.
1.-Double-check the name and info of the journalist before sending a release. Do some research through Vocus (and Bacon’s) or by visiting the publication’s Web site, to make sure that you are sending the information to the right person and if possible read what he/she has published in the past. Look for topics, style, tone and interests, this will help you “sell” your story better.
2.-Send a personalized e-mail that briefly explains the press release and copy the text of the release in your message. Some journalists wouldn’t open a message from an unknown source if it contains attachments.
3.-Always include your contact number, Hispanic journalists always want to have a real and reachable person to answer questions.
4.-Use a catchy subject line that both grabs the journalist attention and provides him/her an idea of the content of the message. Avoid using simple or generic subject lines like: “Comunicado de Prensa” (Press Release) “Informacion importante de….” (Important information), you risk your message to be lost in the clutter, or confused as spam.
5.-Make a follow-up call.
-If you are fortunate enough to talk to the journalist, keep in mind that you will have between 30 to 60 seconds to catch his/her attention. Consider that a press release may not be a hot topic, so try to find angles for a possible story.-If you leave a Voice Message (VM) you will have to communicate everything in 30 seconds, let him or her know that you have sent an email with the information. For a VM, I would recommend using phrases like “This information would be of great interest to you readers” or “You can provide a valuable service to you readers”. Leave your phone an email at the end of the message (repeat it at least once)
-If you were able to talk to the journalist, send a follow-up mail thanking him/her for their time and letting them know that you can be available for questions or help while writing the story. This way you will have a contact you can rely on for future efforts.
6.-For some smaller publications, be prepared to talk for a long time. Some editors and journalist are real talkers, and will want to chat with you about topics that matter to Hispanics.
7.-Always smile while talking over the phone…and try to have fun!