How Startups Can Leverage Video When Pitching Journalists
There are various ways that startups can use to get through to journalists including press releases, email pitches, and video pitches. As we have discovered while pitching journalists at Pressfarm, video pitches can really work out in the favour of a startup that knows how to utilise this media.
In the past few years, video has become one of the most preferred mode of communication. Within the last decade platforms like YouTube have grown from nothing to billion dollar companies. Social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter all have video now as a huge part of their platforms. This uptake only means that people really like videos. In this instance, journalists are not an exception.
Therefore, how can startups leverage video when pitching journalists? The answer is not so simple so let’s get started.
1. Email subject has to make a huge point
As usual, the secret to getting journalists to open your email when you send it is to have a subject line that intrigues their minds and makes them want to explore the email further.
Learn to treat the subject line as a clickable moment. It is almost like the title of an article; no one opens an article to read further if it has a boring title. A great subject line raises curiosity of the journalist in question.
A good example would be for instance if you have made a report titled “Virtual Reality Marketing Report” sending that as the subject line is sure to send your email in the trash. Instead of that you could use an intriguing subject line like “New survey shows the top marketing trends dictating uptake of VR”.
2. Make your paragraphs short
Once your subject line is done well and finalised, the next step is to work on making your introductory paragraphs. They have to be short and to the point. A lot of journalists prefer two to three paragraphs of your email body.
Remember that you are only trying to get the attention of the journalist to get back to you so that you can discuss further; so avoid writing an essay. In our experience about 250-300 words is usually the range of words that should be contained in your email body.
3. Time to create the video
After doing a short introductory email body, it is now time to bring in the video. The secret to a good video pitch is to ensure that you personalize your introduction. We have seen that personalised videos start to remove the barriers between the journalist and yourself. These barriers are usually lack of trust.
When you start working on your video, ensure that your first few sentences talk about you, your product, what inspired it, and why you think the journalist would be interested in it. A good practice is to mention that you have seen other written works on the topic by this journalist and decided to reach out.
4. Go ahead, say hello, and connect to your listener in the video
If you are wondering why a video pitch is important, here;
- People love watching videos and a lot more would substitute the text in your email body for the video. Chances of skipping through the text and watching the video are very high.
- A video allows you to incorporate several modes of presentation in one media. For instance, you can have text overlaying in your videos as well as photos,videos and other graphics.
- A video generally lifts the mood of the journalist if done well. If they like the video, then there is a high chance they will go back to read your email.
- If you are targeting a particular journalist whose taste in music you understand, you could incorporate some of their favourite songs into the video presentation as accompanying music.
5. How do you create and send your video pitch?
- Choose a video creation tool
- Write a short script
Once you have selected a video creation tool, you can now start writing a short script for your video. Always remember, like an email pitch, a video too should be short and precise. Get the most important information onto the video and leave all the unnecessary details for when the journalist contacts you.
- Use a hook in the beginning
This is important to ensure that the video hooks the viewer to watch until the end. A great starter for the video hooks the journalist to the video until the end due to the curiosity raised.
- Add a Call-To-Action (CTA)
What would you like the journalist to do after watching the video? This is ideally the call-to-action which is essential. Would you like them to email you back? Visit a website? Send you something? Make it clear before you end the video.
- Publish and create a shareable or embeddable link
Once you have created the video, it is now time to save it and generate a link that is shareable. If you cannot do that, a lot of people would just download the video from the video creation tool and upload this video on their YouTube channels. From YouTube it is easy to create an embeddable link into your email body that somebody can click to go watch.
Using YouTube is highly preferred since it will not raise doubts from the viewer about the credibility of the video due to the platform it is shared on. A lot of people will be more comfortable continuing to watch a video if it is on a popular website like YouTube.
6. The story is important
The most important thing in the video creation is the story of your startup or the story angle you are taking. Always focus to capture the attention of the journalist using storytelling.
7. Create a media list
Media list creation is a skill that has to be learned. However,using tools like Pressfarm (the company I work for) you can get access to contact information for over 50,000 journalists in the UK, USA, and Australia at an affordable price. You not only get their contact information but Twitter and LinkedIn handles and feeds to their stories.
Using keywords, names of publications, and other filters, you can quickly build your media list and save yourself hours of searching online for journalist contacts.
8. Reach out
Once you have a media list, your short email pitch, and your video ready, it is now time to send it out through outreach.
Remember to follow-up with the contacts you send to but don’t be too stubborn if they don’t get back to you after 3 follow-ups. Otherwise you risk ending up in the blacklist of those journalists.
Do you have any other tips you have used to create a video pitch that you can share? Let us know in the comments or by chatting us on Twitter @thepressfarm