This post was originally published on the MichaelSmartPR website. Find Michael Smart on Twitter.

If you and I and every PR person committed to do this one thing, we might achieve world peace.

Okay, it wouldn’t resolve geopolitical tensions, but it WOULD achieve a significant thaw in iciness journalists and bloggers tend to feel toward PR outreach.

The “one thing” sounds obvious after the fact, but most pros I work with haven’t considered it.

Jeff Gibbons, a VP at D.C.-based News Generation, Inc., has a uniquely high success rate at booking interviews for his clients with top radio and TV news programs around the country.

He shared with me lots of things he does differently than more PR people, but here’s “the one thing” that stood out for its simplicity and effectiveness.

Before Jeff pitches a journalist or blogger, he finds a photo of him or her, and then runs through the pitch in his mind while looking at the face of the future recipient.

You can probably already see how powerful this is. If every PR person did this before pitching, it would mean that every pitch is personal and customized. That would slash the inordinate number of irrelevant emails and calls influencers are swamped with.

And the pitches that get sent would be much better. When you look at the journalist you’re about to contact, you see him or her as a real person, with deadlines and distractions, and also an insatiable need for fresh content. The language you’ll find yourself using will be more natural, and your standards will rise.

Yes, this approach will take longer than assembling a list and sending the same email to everyone on it. But your list of placements will likely be longer, too, and the list of journalists you eventually develop relationships with will definitely grow.

Jeff went on to explain the verbiage he uses at the beginning of his pitches and the rules he follows to boost the number of targets who open his emails and answer his calls. He did all this for my Inner Circle members during our August webinar.

The Inner Circle is closed to new members now. Learn more before our next enrollment window opens later this year and register your email here. Last time we sold out the premium access in 29 minutes, so it pays to get all the info early.


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