Recently, we’ve realized some similarities between our daily activities in the office and our personal lives. Our conclusion – dating is just like pitching a reporter. The butterflies in your stomach, sitting by your phone waiting for them to respond, and analyzing their responses (are they really interested in this story or just thinking about it).
As experts in the dating and the pitching world, we wanted to share our advice for securing that story or turning the first date into many.
- Have mutual interests: Jenny once went on a date with a guy who didn’t like puppies and that was pretty much the end of the date. Keep this in mind when you are pitching a reporter. If your story is about medical research, don’t pitch someone who only covers style.
- Do your research: Did you know that 43% of people Google their first date before they meet them? Although you would never admit to doing this, you can’t help yourself from doing a quick Facebook or Google search on a guy. You should always have this mentality when pitching a reporter so you can find out what their latest beat is, what they are writing about and how you can really pique their interest.
- Make it timely: Do not try to schedule a Friday night date at 5 p.m. on Friday. Reporters will react in the same way if you try to pitch as they are walking out the door for the weekend: silence or a flat out no.
- Don’t overshare: On a first date, Frannie was told by a guy that he was on a mission to find a wife. Just what every girl wants to hear – good thing the cocktails had already been served! Just like a first date, you never want to overwhelm a reporter when first speaking; be short and to the point.
- Be confident: HelloGiggles.com writer @ElizaHurwitz writes in this post that you should give yourself a pep talk before you go out on your first date in order to make yourself more confident. Reporters and men can always tell when you’re nervous. If you’re nervous they are going to lose interest.
- Don’t overwhelm them: If you send a girl/guy multiple texts and phone calls, don’t expect a quick response or one at all. Don’t send reporter 5 emails a day and follow up with 3 phone calls. No one wants a stalker. This is what gives both women and PR pros a bad name.
- Proper grammar: Make sure when you send a text message that you use proper grammar, e.g., do not send the following text message to a girl/guy you are interested in: “R U busy 2nite?” Please don’t send this, we’re grownups. When you are emailing a reporter, you need to check for proper punctuation and spelling, or they will likely disregard the email immediately. Or even worse, laugh about you with their friends, er, we mean, colleagues.
- Use your resources: If you’ve got a good reputation with one reporter and they refer you to their colleagues, you’re more likely to have success. The same is true for dating; the most successful dates are referrals from friends because they know your interests.
Getting the story on the front of the New York Times is like going FBO (Facebook official). You’ve finally secured the story and developed a relationship. Congrats!
Happy Valentine’s Day! Take a minute to check out Spectrum’s video ode to the PR pro’s relationship with their jobs.