PR for small business

Skip the Cookie Cutter Pitch Template

blog 8.21It’s dirty business today. Talking templates.

I love systems. Processes, anything that makes things flow beautifully. But when someone asks me for a template for pitching media I get my back up.

No fewer than 3 online courses I’ve taken have thrown guest posting and pitching media out there as a way to build your list and your credibility.

Fist pump. I love it. Yes, totally let’s do it!

Then, it’s followed by a pitch template. A cookie cutter template for you to “swipe”….usually along with words like “just fill this in and you’ll be all set”.

If only it were that easy. If it were that easy wouldn’t we all be media superstars? #prfail

No template is going to help you get where you want to go. There’s so much more work that needs to go into your pitch beyond “insert your name here” and send.  A template misses the point entirely.

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How to Actually Use a Template

Relying too heavily on someone else’s template is not doing you any favors. It may have only been used by that person in their own pitching efforts, and one person’s success does not make for a winning process.

It’s their story that makes the true difference, or their specific stage of business or experience, not their template.

On the other hand, if the course is very popular….do you want to be the SAME as the 10,000 other people using that template and very likely pitching the same places as you.

A template is a starting point. Where the magic of pitching really happens is at the intersection of your story and your awesome research. The pitch needs to sell your idea, not merely your pitch jammed into expert X’s master template.

I can just picture the editor sifting through the 47 pitches that are all the same talking about during your passions into profits or being authentic….and wait, here’s magical #48 with a different idea, telling a well though out story and not in the cookie cutter template. That’s the one that gets the yes.

Don’t you want to be the one that gets the yes? Not the one that gets the big sigh, eye roll and promptly deleted?

Instead of worrying about what to put in your email to the big name blog, figure out what you can bring to the table. What’s your story – your unique perspective, experience or truth? And why would that publication actually want this content? How are you qualified to talk about this?

Answering those questions is more important than any template will ever be. A template will never be the key to success.

How can you prepare and set yourself apart instead of playing fill-in-the-blanks? Comment below. 

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