A Perfect Pitch Starts with a Perfect Shoe

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shoe on fashion magazine
via In Bossmode on Unsplash

Published on Sept. 13, 2018, at 7:15 p.m.
by Bri Roselius.

“Sex and the City”: an iconic 90s series about a writer named Carrie Bradshaw, her love for New York City and a closet full of shoes.

Manolo Blahnik’s, Louboutin’s, Jimmy Choo’s — trust me, Bradshaw had them all. And honestly, who needs to pay rent when you can rock a new pair of shoes?

Let’s talk pumps.
As thrilled as I am to be discussing Bradshaw’s ensemble of show-stopping heels, this isn’t just about her overwhelming shoe collection. If there is one characteristic about Bradshaw that I admire, it’s her keen eye for spotting the perfect shoe — and with unwavering confidence, I might add. Outfit after outfit, she didn’t hesitate to slay the streets of New York City with a bright and shiny sandal.

Each shoe Bradshaw collected held a different significance in her heart — the hot-pink Louboutin’s she bought for a date with Mr. Big before he moved to California, the Manolo Blahniks she received when Mr. Big proposed, and her classic red Manolos and fur ensemble.

Different shoe, different experience. Just like in pitching.

photo via Kris Atomic on Unsplash

One size does not fit all.
Media outlets and journalists receive hundreds of pitches on a regular basis. With so much saturation, how can you ensure your story stands out?

The first rule in pitching: One size does not fit all.

Just because those strappy stilettos look amazing on Bradshaw doesn’t mean they won’t wash you out and accentuate your cankles. The same philosophy applies to drafting a pitch.

Nothing puts a journalist off more than knowing 50 other writers received the same generic pitch. Yes, personalizing your pitch to specific journalists requires more work. However, understanding journalists’ beats, scrolling through their Twitter feeds, referencing other articles they’ve written, and explaining why you think this story will benefit their audiences will exponentially increase an outlet’s interest in your story. It will also position you in the right direction to drafting a properly tailored pitch. This pitching strategy will not only garner a journalist’s attention but will prove that you did your homework.

I swear on Chanel.
We all love a vintage pump; however, nothing’s worse than wearing last season’s heels with this season’s coloring. What a fashion faux pas! Recognizing fashion trends is just as important as recognizing whether the information you plan to pitch is both relevant and important.

Why waste your time drafting and revising a pitch when the information you’re distributing isn’t newsworthy? In this case, relevance is key. Whether you’re in an agency, nonprofit or corporate environment, you live and breathe your client. Something that may seem interesting to you may not necessarily align with a journalist’s interests or beat. Bradshaw loved a good Manolo Blahnik pump, but that doesn’t mean you see her gushing about her shoes to Mr. Big.

Know your audience.

You’re only as strong as your thickest heel.

photo via Cleo Vermij on Unsplash

Nothing’s worse than taking a tumble, in public, in your favorite new heels. Yikes.

We ladies put a lot of confidence in the stability of our shoes. Some of us will happily dish out hundreds of dollars on shoes because of the benefits we believe they will bring us — such as new statement pumps for your first day at a new job, “my boyfriend just broke up with me” shoes, strappy heels for a first date.

However, are we dedicating the same time and energy to grow our network?

When it comes to earned media, having relationships with key contacts will propel you far in securing coverage for your client(s). Growing and maintaining these relationships will only help your public relations career. By building a mutually beneficial relationship with media, you’re securing yourself as a reliable, authentic source for future stories.

A shoe like no other.
Nineties’ fashion trends come and go, but pitching continues to evolve. Just like the revolving fashion seasons, it’s crucial to stay up to date on industry trends and practices — no one likes to be the odd shoe out.

When it comes to pitching, no shoe is like another. Strive to set yourself apart from a closet full of generic pitches. Five thoroughly developed pitches are better than 50 generic mass emails. Like a boot that needs to be worn in, if you do the work required, as tedious as it may seem, you will achieve positive results.

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