Doug Haslam

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It’s Not Just Targeting- It’s Timing



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An article in Entrepreneur Magazine this week talked about "The Pitch." In essence, the article writes to "shut up" until you have crafted a useful story for your target, rather than just having a "static pitch." (http://bit.ly/359QWd). While the 2-3 weeks recommended to craft such a pitch is often impractically long for public relations people serving clients (and client news cycles provide frequent exceptions to this ideal), the idea is a sound one Ithat fits my thinking of the last five years or so.

It’s not just about targeting a pitch. It’s not just about customizing. It’s about developing a sense of timing – when to shut and when to engage. When not to send that news release pitch to someone, and when to include them.

Maybe I’ll call that "targeting your timing" – PR folk, your thoughts?

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11 Responses to It’s Not Just Targeting- It’s Timing

  1. Kevin Dugan says:

    Doug – This is good stuff. You could also note that targeting has several dimensions of customization.

    As you’ve noted, the outlet, person and preferred mode of communication drive a lot of it. But if you send the perfect pitch to an editor when they’re on deadline? Doesn’t matter.

    You’re certainly looking beyond that specific moment. It involves the news cycle and more. But this is something that could be more throughly explored in a pitch planner, assuming you have the time for one on the front end.

  2. Doug and Kevin, agreed.

    This also goes, I think, for publishing–and tweeting about–blog posts. Timing, and the news cycle, are crucial when writing about current events. I recall reading a popular PR blogger’s post citing new stats on the decline of Twitter’s popularity, which he published a day or two before media coverage of Iran and Iranians’ use of Twitter reached a fever pitch. His point was lost as the news cycle devoured his (or any) dissenting opinion of Twitter at the time.

  3. Doug Haslam says:

    Kevin and Michael,

    glad to see you are in tune with me- I often wonder how – and if- my point gets across. There are a number of factors in a good pitch- a number of dimensions, really. The more you can fulfill (to the extent it is in your control) the better your success.

  4. Twitter Comment


    RT @DougH PR Pitches: Not Just Targeting, but Timing; or, Targeted Timing? [link to post] — good stuff from SHIFT’s Haslam

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  5. Thanks Doug. I can see we all agree upon the importance of timing. The latter is a key factor not only in chronological terms but also contextually.
    I am very sensitive to the needs of multicultural communication: language, customs, beliefs etc. You need to know for example that most Southern European countries will be on holidays in August. Yes, timing is crucial.
    Fiorenza

  6. Twitter Comment


    When pitching a busy newsroom, timing is crucial [link to post]

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  7. Twitter Comment


    Short, thought-provoking piece on the timing of PR pitches from @DougH (via @badpitch) [link to post]

    Posted using Chat Catcher

  8. Twitter Comment


    When not to send that news release pitch to someone – its about timing [link to post]

    Posted using Chat Catcher

  9. i know this might sound weird, but i’m taking a music survey class and need to survey 50 people. All i need to know is if you’ve ever played the piano. Literally, have your fingers every touched piano keys. Thanks!

  10. Pingback: Doug Haslam » Blog Archive » Top 10 Posts for 2009

  11. Jackie Tyson says:

    Even in the sports world, it is critical to have a real story at the right time. This means you have to throw it in the strike zone – individual, customized pitches work 100 times better than blast email pitch!

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