National Media Perfect Pitch Guest Post

Here is a guest post from Publicist Michelle Tennant Nicholson. 

Michelle is co-owner of Wasabi
Publicity and specializes in breaking news,
only takes on clients who make a positive difference, and has been called a
five star publicist by Good Morning America producer, Mable Chan.

See a free
video on her perfect pitch at
and visit her blog at

National Media In Perfect Pitch

By Michelle Tennant

know a national TV producer who gets 500 emails an hour, every day.

the media besieged by attention-seekers, how can you rise to the top of their
overstuffed in-boxes to grab their attention? Here are some steps to increase
chances for yourself or a client.

our company, Wasabi Publicity Inc., got a brand new client booked on Dr. Phil
within eight hours, it was a tightly worded pitch with an eye-catching subject
line that delivered. Coverage on CNN Weekend News, major syndicated radio and
national magazines quickly followed.

client, Dr. Jill Murray, specializes in relationships that turn violent. She
has appeared on national media many times. So when the story broke that singer
Chris Brown had been charged with assaulting his pop star girlfriend Rihanna,
Dr. Jill was perfectly qualified to shed light on the news.

team went into overdrive to get her on Dr. Phil. It started with a pitch that
we now refer to as “The Perfect Pitch” because it gets to the heart of what the
media is looking for. The pitch began with this subject line:

 [Rihanna] Dr. Jill Murray – 3 Stages of Violence –  which one is Rihanna

gatekeepers use search terms to sort through their incoming tsunami of emails
each day. We put Rihanna’s name first because we knew the media would be
searching for it, on the Web and in their email. We used “Dr.” Jill Murray to
establish her credibility. In a dozen words we conveyed our client’s expertise
and gave the media a teaser about how she could enlighten their audience.

of that subject line as your headline. You wouldn’t open an email without a
catchy subject, right? When you are trying to get through to media bombarded by
publicity seekers, it’s the key that can unlock the treasure chest of national
media coverage.

opening line of your pitch must immediately state why the media should care.
Since Dr. Jill has previously appeared on Oprah, ABC, 20/20, CNN and so forth,
we put that front and center so the media would know they are dealing with a
pro. We included links to her TV clips so with one click they could see her in

ask what unique perspective you or your client can bring to the national news.
I interviewed Dr. Jill for an hour to find out what she thought the national
media were missing in their discussion of Rihanna and Chris Brown. We came up

3 Stages of Violence (1) Honeymoon, (2) Tension Building
Phase, (3) Explosive Phase

Jill knew what she wanted to say because she had been watching TV and keeping
up with the breaking news. That’s one of the
things we coach our clients on — watch the news and figure out what you would
say about breaking news.

we pitched the red-hot angle of text messaging and how it played into this

Murray has 3 warning signs parents, friends and relatives can watch for around
"texting" if they fear someone they care about may be in a violent

Plus this: Signs to watch for if you feel you might be dating an

this portion of the pitch, we showed the media how Dr. Jill’s expertise was
directly relevant to the concern of their viewers and readers.
Any parent with teens would want to know this, right?

we gave the media something of added value: a link to a quiz by Dr. Jill ( that reporters and
editors can use to prepare their own questions, and that viewers can use to be
on the watch for signs of domestic violence.

closed our pitch with information about Dr. Jill’s availability and an
after-hours phone number where they could reach me. It’s critical to remember,
when the national media calls, you may get only one chance to respond. Answer
or return their calls immediately.

take home point: Always look for ways
you can make the media’s job as easy as possible. That’s really what delivers
the goods, particularly when you are dealing with top tier media.


 About the Author:

Publicity co-owner Michelle Tennant Nicholson specializes in breaking news,
only takes on clients who make a positive difference, and has been called a
five star publicist by Good Morning America producer, Mable Chan. See a free
video on her perfect pitch at
and visit her blog at

The following two tabs change content below.

Janet Vasil

On-Camera, Speaker & Media Coach/Trainer at Vasil Media Group | Your Media Moment & Beyond
Communication Coach, Media Trainer & Founder Janet Vasil is a former award-winning, EMMY®-nominated TV Journalist who helps rising and future business leaders communicate with courage and charisma on-camera, and off. Contact at

Latest posts by Janet Vasil (see all)