When our CEO and Founder, Nicole Rodrigues, came up with the idea for her PRfect Pitch podcast, she hoped to spark an ongoing meeting of the minds, where members of the media could share their honest thoughts, tips, preferences (and pet peeves) with PR professionals to help align, elevate, and empower the overall pitching and storytelling process.

Her aim for the show was to reveal some of the best kept secrets of what sets meaningful public relations activities apart from the pack, and to give our media counterparts the opportunity to tell us what, exactly, they want and need from a pitch.

Now, after a brief pause, PRfect Pitch is back — and better than ever!

First up on the revamped PRfect Pitch guest list was Dean Takahashi, lead writer for “GamesBeat” at VentureBeat, author of two books (Opening the Xbox and The Xbox 360 Uncloaked), and organizer of the annual GamesBeat Summit conference.

Throughout the interview, Dean shared some expert insights and pro tips with Nicole that you don’t want to miss! Here are a few:

In Order to Cover Something Well, You Should Immerse Yourself into the Subject

If you care about the subject you’re covering, your work will show it. Not only does the energy that you put into writing and researching pay off, but you also enjoy the work that you’re doing as a result.

For Dean, this looked like starting his career covering video games — a less prevalent topic at the time, but something he loved researching and writing about. As gaming has since skyrocketed in popularity, he has been able to carry that beat throughout the many phases of his career.

This kind of mentality helped Dean grow over time, and is something you can do too. Afterall, immersing yourself into the subject is how you learn the best.

Journalists Want to See Creativity and Consistency from PR Professionals

Whether working for newspapers or online publications, Dean says the trends for success remain the same — PR professionals should stay creative, consistent and always offer value in their pitches.

One way to catch a journalist’s eye is to write “embargo” in the subject line of a pitch. Why? Because someone like Dean gets over 500 emails a day, so he needs to be able to decipher between a pitch that will pique his interest and one that won’t.

Similarly, journalists love exclusives. There’s a sense of urgency if a journalist knows that they can break a story and it helps you stand out from the crowd.

Something else that Dean mentions is consistency. If a journalist doesn’t respond within 24-48 hours, follow up with them. They may not have responded because they haven’t seen the email or because the pitch angle wasn’t quite right.

As Dean says, “Telling the best story is sometimes more important than telling the story first.” So, don’t rush, and make sure your pitch is the best it can be.

Journalists Are Humans, Not Robots

While it would be nice if someone could be available 24/7, it’s simply not realistic. When pitching, it’s important that you give journalists time to not only read and respond to emails, but also allow time for them to craft their coverage.

Oftentimes, journalists plan a week or months worth of stories at a time, so if you pitch them an announcement happening the following day, that doesn’t give them adequate time to write a story if they’d be interested.

As a PR professional, you should put a story on a journalist’s radar early, so they have time to decide if it’s a good fit for their audience and if so, write their story.

Media Communication is Constantly Changing, and We Need to Evolve With It

Like every other industry, the art of journalism was greatly impacted by the pandemic. Networking is now more digital than ever and as a PR pro, we need to evolve with the industry.

Instead of attending an event or conference to network, we now have applications like Clubhouse that we use to connect with others. Dean discusses how this has been a great platform to come out of COVID-19.

Clubhouse offers the opportunity to connect with, learn from and showcase media opportunities in new ways. It’s become the equivalent of going and listening to a panel, which has been a great way to virtually network during the pandemic.

“Clubhouse gives me the opportunity to meet people that I don’t already know,” Dean said. “The more people that you talk to, the less likely you’re locked into the wrong point of view.” This is why applications like Clubhouse are important in our digital world.

Dean also reminds us that we don’t have to rely solely on email to catch the media’s attention. You can tweet someone, send a Facebook message or connect with them on LinkedIn —these are all great ways to connect, while also gaining more insight into their interests by observing what they post.

We are stoked to bring you this new and improved season of PRfect Pitch, which you can tune into via YouTube, Apple Podcasts or your preferred podcast platform. The full interview with Dean is available to watch here!