Getting Your Wine Product and Service Covered By the Media: Four Words
There are a number of types of compliments that professional publicists appreciate most. Among them is the one I received the other day from a wine writer: “That was just about the best story pitch I’ve received in years.”
I showed that one around.
There were a few reasons the pitch was good. It had little to do with the story I was pitching nor with the quality of the client. It had to do with the way the story was pitched.
I have a note taped to my desktop computer. I stare at it every day. It’s the same note that has been taped to my desktop going back 15 years. It’s not in good shape. But I keep tranfering it to the next computer because it has a very important reminder on it:
It reminds me of the four rules of pitching a story to the media.
1-PITCH A STORY, NOT YOUR COMPANY
Very few journalists, reporters or bloggers write happy stories about how great your wine or wine-related service is. What they are looking for is a story or story idea that hasn’t been written to death, that’s relevant to current issues within the industry or ideas in the culture/wine world and to know how your product or service fits in. So, know what this story idea is and how it relates to you and what you do or make or provide before you do anything else.
2-FIND THE CORRECT WRITER FOR THE STORY
Odds are Jim Laube at the Wine Spectator isn’t going to write a story about a new service that matches importers with distributors. He writes about CA and Napa wines in particular. Odds are Alice Feiring isn’t going to write about the launch of a new California AVA wine produced to be sold at grocery stores in the $9.99 range, no matter how delightful. She writes about Natural wine and sustainably grown wines. It’s crucial you not waste time pitching a story to someone who isn’t going to write the story.
3-READ WHAT THE WRITER WROTE
If you know what they’ve written about, then you know if they’ve written the story you are pitching. And that’s important, particularly if you’ve followed rule #2. Additionally when you eventually talk to the writer about your pitch, you can do so intelligently with an eye toward what has interested them in the past.
4-CRAFT A CONCISE STORY PITCH THAT YOU CAN DELIVERY SWIFTLY
Whether you are reaching out to the writer via email or phone, be able to quickly and concisely communicate your story idea, what you can contribute to the telling of the story and how it fits with their audience and history of stories. The more concise the pitch, the better it will be since honing down gets you to its compelling essence.
I work as a publicist in the wine industry. But these simple rules really apply to media relatiions in any industry. Additionally, there are more elements that go into garnering interest in your product or company. But when it comes to finally reaching out to the media and pitching a story, these four rules will go a long way toward successfully gaining the interest of the medai.