PRfect Pitch focuses on interviewing media and key event managers who PR agencies pitch regularly on behalf of clients. As the name implies, successful pitching is a key ingredient in achieving results as a public relations professional.

The podcast discusses how and when to pitch a story to editors and producers who in turn learn which PR sources can be trusted to bring them interesting stories that resonate with their audience. 

Our sixth guest was Tara Seals, Senior Editor at Threatpost. In this episode, you’ll hear about Tara’s background as a journalist, analyst, and editor in the tech and cybersecurity industries, why it’s so important to do your homework and research before pitching someone, and more. Here are a few takeaways: 

Cybersecurity is More Important Now Than Ever

With security breaches like the one that recently occurred with Facebook, we’re seeing just how important cybersecurity is. 

Data breaches occur almost every day, but we don’t find out about them until it’s too late. In 2020 alone, almost 4,000 data breaches took place. However, it’s not just data breaches, that we should be looking out for. 

We should be looking for malware and ransomware attacks, phishing, and more. There’s always something happening on the cyber front, which is why cybersecurity is imperative. 

A common motivation for these attacks is financial gain, but regardless of the reasoning, the volume of attacks is unnerving and something everyone should be aware of.

Do Your Homework

Pitching is an important part of PR and with this comes doing your homework to ensure you write the best pitch possible. However, if you don’t know the niche of the journalist you’re pitching, the pitch will go to waste. 

For Tara, she notes that Threat Post focuses on trends and evergreen information, but not personal news about a company. This is valuable information you can learn by doing your homework.

“Don’t just look at the name of the outlet and assume they care about your news,” said NRPR Group CEO Nicole Rodrigues. “What is deep in it? Do they focus on opinions, data, or whether or not you’re a security company that’s raised money? This is what you should be looking into.”

Doing your homework is a common theme that we’ve heard on almost every PRfect Pitch episode and I know why. Time is valuable. You don’t want to waste a journalist’s time by pitching them something irrelevant. You wouldn’t want that to happen to you, so take the time to do your homework.

Use Keywords In the Subject Line of Your Email

Keywords are exactly what you’d think they are. Key to the success of your email being opened. For Tara, a subject line that says “news” and includes keywords like “malware discovered on Netflix” will pique her interest. 

Another reason keywords increase the open rate of an email is because it shows you’ve done your homework. If it appears to be targeted towards something the journalist is writing about, then it’s the beginning of a mutually beneficial relationship. Once a relationship is formed, your pitch is more likely to be opened.

This also opens the doors for a journalist to come to you for future stories they’re writing because they know they can depend on the work you do and your clients.

Research the Industry to Know Which Dates are Best to Pitch

For Tara, Tuesday’s are the most hectic days. The second Tuesday of every month, Microsoft does an update on their software. Adobe, Oracle and other tech companies release their information all on the same day.

As a PR person, this can also give you the opportunity to offer an executive to speak on whatever these companies are releasing. You don’t need an announcement to pitch, because here Microsoft is doing that, but you can be a great resource.

It’s also important to make sure your resource is available right away for stories like this.

In-person Relationships are Important Too

People have lost touch with what it means to have a relationship outside of Zoom. Rightfully so. We’ve spent over a year working from home and not attending the annual conferences, seminars, and events that were cancelled or postponed due to COVID-19.

In the post COVID world, it’s important to bring these in-person relationships back. Are you going to a conference? Network and meet with someone for coffee or dinner. Not only does this put a face to the name, but it also helps you stand out from the crowd and build a solid relationship from the start.

Additionally, people have been cooped up all year. Journalists will be thrilled to have this physical connection and meet you whenever the time comes.

Do you have tips and tricks for PR professionals that you want to share? Whether it be about pitching, media relations, podcasting or more, we’d love to hear your thoughts! Drop a comment on this interview with Tara on YouTube, which can be found here

You can also listen to this season of PRfect Pitch via Apple Podcasts, or your preferred podcast platform.