"I'm pitching media at major market television networks. The competition is stiff. How can I stand out from all the off-topic, snooze-worthy pitches that glut the producer's inbox every day?"
When trying to land media coverage, packaging a story with the right visuals can make all the difference. People are more visual than ever before and media need budget-friendly resources to help their story catch attention. When choosing between one story with visuals and one without - all things being equal - the story WITH THEM will land the spot.
But what's an effective way to do this? You can't put an attachment on your email without having it go straight to the junk folder.
Because it offers both public and private pinboards, Pinterest can be incredibly useful. Even if you don't have a robust presence on the platform.
And unlike DropBox, Hightail (YouSendIt) or Box.net, it has a social component and ability to blend public with private that can be tremendously useful.
Using Pinterest For PR & Media Pitching
Here are two quick ideas to get the ball rolling...
1. Create a public "speaker roll" pinboard that includes broadcast clips (both television and radio) and public speaking footage.
Once your board is done, put it to use. When pitching broadcast media or seeking new speaker opportunities, link to the board to demonstrate how the client appears on the air or stage. Using this tactic in a pitch not only supports your claim of on-air expertise, but it helps your pitch stand out among others... critical in highly competitive markets (such as New York City).
You can also load the pinboard with relevant visuals, such as headshots with a bio in the description. Infographics. Pull quotes and pie charts they can wrap into the spot to break up the "talking head" effect. Photographs with cut lines and photo credits in the description.
Not only is this pinboard useful in pitching media, but it's fantastic to use when looking for speaking opportunities. Sending the link or using it in the "call for speakers" application goes a long way in demonstrating skills. It can make the difference between landing the keynote or the panel.
- Editorial coverage (clips) should always be embedded or pinned directly from the media outlet's website with proper attribution.
- Always use the embed option provided, so the original source is included and you are legally protected.
- If embed options are not provided, simply pin it instead of embedding the video.
- Pinterest made quite a few changes last year. If you have older videos embedded on Pinterest that you have not checked it since May 2013, be sure to go verify they are still working. Many video links broke when the update was done.
- Be sure to fill out each pin description with as much detail as possible about that news story or speaking gig, and cluster them under a pinboard with a relevant name.
- Better yet, wrap in a keyword or phrase. You'd be surprised how Google-friendly Pinterest is.
- Don't make this a secret pinboard. It's a great SEO tool to showcase credibility and expertise. Since it leverages information already publicly available, there's no reason to keep it private.
- Never upload purchased footage unless digital rights were included in the purchase or you have written permission from the media outlet. Using them without permission opens the door to legal fines.
- Do not download video from the media outlet's website to upload it later. Same rules apply as the above bullet. It breaks the attribution chain.
- Resist any temptation to use it as an opportunity to show how media "love" your authority figure, mention how "famous" he or she is or refer to them as a "media spokesperson." Focus on media needs, NOT promotion or hype.
2. Put your b-roll and other video footage in a secret pinboard.
Since video can be embedded or pinned, putting b-roll footage in a secret pinboard is a great way to make it available to media.
Photography, infographics and other visuals can also be included.
Not sure whether a board should be public or private? Just think about how you want it used, if it is for public consumption and if it is likely to be mis-used.
While something like b-roll footage might be useful to media who understand editing and how to pull out specific pieces of the footage to support their story, it may not be so useful for customers and prospects to sit and watch. Because b-roll is far from a polished video product, it's probably not something you'd want to make available to the general public and not something you want representing your company as-is.
Want to go a step further? Why not create the secret pinboard around a single story idea? Or around a single media spokesperson at your company, then populating it with personal interest story ideas and images approved for media use?
Coming up with creative ideas to showcase information visually helps tell your story AND sell your story.
So put on your thinking cap and give Pinterest a (s)pin. Even if you only have an hour to invest, you might just be surprised at the creative ways you can put it to work!