Around here, the time taken to write a press release is not time taken lightly. When a press release is presided over, it is a collective effort on the part of the entire staff – from the person who writes the words on the page to the president of the company for review.
But we have already established that the press release is still a relevant medium here – we could say it until we are blue in the face and out of breath. But one testimonial to the relevance of this tried and true form of communication would be the recipients of the press release.
When calling and pitching a story to a newspaper or magazine editor or programming directors for various broadcast media outlets or anybody, the number one response that is received from them is “Did you send me a press release?” When we pitch, what we are going to say is as presided over just as if it were a press release – what bullet points we need to get across about our client and their campaign in a limited amount of time.
These people who make the decisions at media outlets do not have large amounts of free time to sit and spend a length of time on the phone, listening to you cover all of your key points. They do not have time for the various “alternatives” to the traditional press release many critics have suggested – we have absolutely never heard some one say “Have you tweeted me?” or “Did you send that to my Facebook page?” If you refer them to the posting you put on their social media networking site, your call would not be taken seriously and your information happily discarded because your credibility have been called into question.
The pitch and press release work together to supplement each other – a press release is followed by a call (pitch) to the recipient and what the pitch covers, the press release expands upon.
A pitch is a great tool that allows you to interact with the people who have been selected to receive your press release. It is expected of you. There is an almost certain chance that the release you sent out is one of several which were received that day, but when you supplement that with a pitch, it causes the recipient to pick it up, read it over and take in all of the information it contains. And while on the phone, you can plan out what will come from the press release you wrote with purpose.