#4) Meet the local media. Reach out via an in-person visit to your local targeted media. Local reporters are swamped daily with phone calls and email pitches from professional public relations representatives. Chances are someone representing him or herself with a blind email or cold call will get no response. Instead research what local media is appropriate for you. Thus, if you just wrote a book on manners, find the local beat reporters who cover the social scene in your community. This is important. Know who you are pitching. Don't assume if you have the wrong reporter your request will be forwarded to the right reporter. Ten out of ten times your request will be deleted.
Once you are sure which reporters are likely to cover whatever it is you are pitching, visit them. Back to the example: if you did write a book on manners, an in-person visit should go as follows:
Plan a stop to the local publication with a copy of your book and a gift basket worth under $25 (anything over that amount can be construed as a bribe). Tell the reporter you are not looking for a review. Instead, you wanted to meet him or her in person and introduce yourself. Let the reporter know you can be counted on as an "expert" in your field and leave your contact information.
It is important not to come off as pushy in any way when speaking with reporters. Don't mention your product, service, or business as a story idea when first meeting a reporter. Remember, establishing relationships is always key. Politely thank him or her for their time and walk away. The trick is waiting. If you have not heard anything within a month send an email complimenting him or her on the latest column (cite an example of what you liked about it) and ask them to check out your "Newsroom" for the latest updates. Keep at this "you get more bees with honey than vinegar" tactic until you get your chance to shine! Note: Local media clippings are great steppingstones to pitching national media.
#5) Proofreading. Don't ever write, read, and then post (or email) anything on behalf of yourself for marketing or pitching reasons. Despite how well-versed in English you may be, writing on behalf of yourself is often a bad idea. Your tone, your over- or under-promotional tactics, and so forth can all be lost in translation because you are too close to your subject matter. Write your press release, or pitch, and then have someone you trust proofread your copy. Make sure whoever you use as a proofreader is objective.