You’re almost there with your publicity campaign! You’ve gotten together a list of good, potential stories, know who to contact…now it’s time to start taking action. Your story pitch and finding ways to get published is that final step toward getting free publicity for your real estate business.
In this post, you’ll learn how to pitch and some extra tips to get published.
How to Pitch Your Story
With the right media outlets and contacts in place, it’s time to tell these editors, reporters and producers your story.
Most of these media contacts don’t have a lot of time to read thoroughly through every pitch, so it’s important to get to the point and hit the highlights of your story. First, your subject line should be compelling, succinct and informative. You can simple put what you think the title of the article or show segment would be.
If you have a tips list, for example, then “5 Tips for Selling a Home in Palm Springs” is a subject line. If you have a more human interest story to share, then include something like “Local Senior Purchases First Home.” Want to share your real estate expertise in a particular neighborhood? Then include a subject line that has a “wow” factor, such as “Real Estate Agent Spurs Home Sales/Purchases.”
Second, introduce who you are. A simple, “my name is Jane Doe, and I am a real estate agent focused on the Jamestown area.” Then follow with, “I have a story/stats/pitch that I thought your readers/viewers/listeners would find interesting.”
Third, go into your pitch. Remember again, editors, reporters and producers don’t have a ton of time to read through the entire story. Sum up your pitch in one or two tight sentences then follow up with bullet points. No matter whether it’s a human interest story or a list of stats, bullet points give the gist of the story enough to entice a media contact to get in touch with you.
Last, include pictures. Pictures, whether its a photo of the subject, of you with a client, your headshot or an infographic, make your pitch more interesting and can make a huge difference in getting more interest for your story.
When to Pitch
As we mentioned in the previous article, thinking ahead to times of the year when your story will be most well received is important. In addition to this, being mindful of print deadlines and viable lead times for television or radio is key, too.
In your spreadsheet of media contacts, add in an extra column of when pitches are due, then add anywhere between two and four weeks to that. The reason for doing this is to pad the time it may take for you to finally get in touch with your media contacts and for them to consider how to fit in your pitch.
The further ahead that you can pitch your story, the better. As you do this, you can also give a suggestion and reason for the timing of your story to give your media contacts some help in deciding when to print or feature it.
Getting free publicity is not a passive task. Emailing is just not enough these days. With all the talk of email overload, a good old-fashioned phone call is pivotal to following up. (Another area in real estate where follow-up is imperative!)
Give the media contact two to three days to have received and looked over your pitch. Then simply give them a call. Even if you don’t have a direct number to reach a specific person, most outlets are great about putting you in touch with the person directly without hesitation.
Leave a brief message if you don’t get them and follow up with another call a few days later. It doesn’t hurt to send a follow-up email as well, letting them know you left a message, too.
Offer to Be a Resource
Even if you don’t get published or interviewed, establish good rapport with your media contacts and ask if they do stories in real estate often. Let them know that you are available any time to provide statistics, commentary or ideas for stories in the future. Don’t hesitate to be up front with this – they know why you called them and will appreciate the contact!
If you happen to hear of local, regional or national stories that may have a good real estate angle, then feel free to put in an email or, better yet, a call to your chosen reporters and editors to share your insight on the event.
Ways to Get Published More Quickly
If you can’t wait to get published or are a little shy about pitching often, a great place to start publishing articles are local community websites. Check out our post for more details on how to get free publicity through these sites.
Another option is to locate local neighborhood newsletters, newspapers and magazines and offer to be a guest writer for each of their issues. Have samples of your best blog posts or articles you have written in the past to share with them. Be ready to pitch some ideas for the calendar year so they feel more compelled to give you a chance. This is a great way to build your brand in the community.
Are you ready to get free publicity for your real estate business? Or is this old hat for you? Share your stories and even articles with us in the comments below and offer any tips you have to get published or interviewd.