Crafting the Perfect Pitch
A Playbook for Earning Positive Coverage
Full Price: $799
Techniques & Tactics
“We’re committed to being one of the best corporate communications teams in the world, and Michael Smart’s workshop was a great resource for that pursuit. He was a wonderful addition to our meeting and his session hit just the right spot for us. I’ve received great feedback across the board.”
— Tony Cervone
SVP Global Communications, General Motors
This is the first and only pitching course for PR pros available online. There are lots of “info products” about publicity, but they are all aimed at small biz/consultants/marketing people, not at PR pros like you.
In fact, you can start benefiting from what Michael Smart has discovered about “crafting the perfect pitch” just moments from now.
In PR, the numbers don’t lie. You’re either getting results in the form of media placements or you aren’t. They either happen or they don’t. You can “hide” the truth for a little while, but eventually it becomes clear to everyone. Either your pitches work or they fail.
PR pros who get more and better placements tend to have very different careers compared to those who never crack the code for successful pitching. If you’re one of the PR pros who watches other people get the placements you want, then what you’re about to discover could show you how to crack the code to make that happen.
Make no mistake, there is a “code” to pitching. It’s not just trial and error mixed with hope and prayer. That’s a recipe for frustration and failure for sure. This “code” is a specific set of principles, strategies and tactics you can put into action to generate superior pitching results. And that is what you will find in this course.
Below is an outline of the valuable tips and tactics you’ll discover inside this one-of-a-kind course.
The Pitching Playbook that Can Systematically Boost Your Pitching Results
The course is split into four core modules, containing a total of 29 lessons. Each of the lessons is about 10 minutes long to make it user-friendly. Plus, you can expect about 20 minutes or so of practical application (per lesson) in the form of various types of exercises.
- Each module is presented in a series of clear and concise lessons designed to help new PR pros and experienced veterans at the same time.
- Work through each lesson at your own pace — as fast or as slow as you’d like!
- Regular video updates from Michael Smart throughout the course will keep you focused, engaged and moving forward.
- You’ll discover a more strategic approach to pitching, coupled with practical “do this” tactics.
This is not something you’re going to blow through in 20 minutes. In fact, all put together, this course would take me about two full days to deliver in a live setting!
“Crafting the Perfect Pitch” is designed to be a long-term resource you’ll come back to often.
While it’s packed with a long list of individual strategies and tactics, they are organized in a way that will teach you a pitching framework that you’ll use over and over again.
This means you can expect your results to get better over time. And eventually, you can expect a “pitching advantage” that will put you (and keep you!) well out in front of the industry.
Here’s what the course will cover:
Module A: Setting Your Pitch Apart From the Noise
Most PR pros send pitches that are destined to fail from the start. If your pitch shows up like everyone else’s, your pitch will be treated like everyone else’s. Usually, that means it will be ignored. In this module, you’ll discover how to craft a pitch that gets NOTICED.
MODULE A LESSONS:
- The Anatomy of Newsworthy: Core Components That Journalists and Bloggers Look for in Every Pitch
- How to Kill a Pitch in Record Time: What Not to Do and Why
- The "Mind Reading" Method
- Look into Your Crystal Ball
- Beyond Your Crystal Ball
- Pulse of the People
- Perfect Pitch Playbook Addendum
- The Path to Innovation Station: Manufacture Creativity to Enliven Boring Pitches
This module will explain:
- The anatomy of a perfect pitch, and the 6 core components you must have to succeed.
- Key questions to ask yourself to make sure your pitch shows up as a unique and newsworthy item.
- How to use the “Mind Reading Method” to get inside the heads of journalists, and craft a pitch that’s a perfect fit for their needs.
- How to use the PR “Crystal Ball” to predict what the media will want to cover before they even know themselves!
- How to manufacture creativity on demand so that your pitches stand out among an endless amount of PR noise.
Module B: Secrets of the Cold Email Pitch
In the second module, you’ll get the tools and insights you need to transform yourself into a MASTER of the cold email pitch. To be frank, most PR pros do this very poorly. By the end of this module, you can be sure you’ll have everything you need to never write a bad email pitch again.
MODULE B LESSONS:
- The 80/20 Email Pitch
- The Smooth Dovetail: How to Nail Your Customized Pitch Without Coming off Like a Suck-up
- The Art of Reaching Out: Smart Ways to Phrase Generic Pitches When You Have to Use Them
- Trimming the Fat: How to Achieve More by Writing Less
- Bumping the Number: Advanced Strategies for Boosting Your Response Rates
- Conquering the Inbox: Secrets of Winning Subject Lines
- Secrets of TV Placements: Producers Spill the Beans on How to Get Their Attention
Find out insider info like:
- The 80/20 email pitching secret. You’ll discover how to sharpen your skills for superior results without doing a ton of work.
- How to nail your customized pitch without coming off insincere. Doing this right can mean big results. Doing this wrong will get your pitch an immediate meeting with the delete key!
- Smart ways to use generic pitches when you have to use them. (Sometimes you do!)
- How to achieve bigger cold email pitching results by writing less. Believe it or not, most of the editing I do on cold email pitches focuses on REMOVING things, not adding them.
- Secrets of writing subject lines journalists must open. This truly is the work that can make or break your cold email pitching success.
- “Covert intelligence” (I got it directly from producers!) about how to get TV placements. If you want effective ways to get their attention, here’s where you’ll find them!
Module C: Advanced Pitching Skills Most PR Pros Don’t Use
In this module, you’ll uncover pitching skills that are beyond the reach of the average PR pro.
MODULE C LESSONS:
- Mapping the Mind of Today’s Overstressed Journalist
- How to Be the Low-Hanging Fruit
- The Journalist’s Need that Shall Not Be Named
- What’s Different About Pitching Bloggers & the Contrarian Rule of Social Media Pitching
- The Lost Art of Phone Pitching
- “World’s Most Valuable Pitch” Follow-up System
- Digging for Gold: How to Find Newsworthy Nuggets
- Habits of Media Relations Masters
You’ll explore key topics such as:
- How to map the mind of today’s overstressed journalist and show up as an answer to their prayers!
- How to become “low-hanging fruit” and make it easy for a journalist to choose you.
- Understanding the “journalist’s great need that shall not be named” and leveraging that understanding to boost your pitching results. (It sounds mysterious, and it’s extremely powerful. Please do not abuse it once you learn it.)
- What’s different about pitching bloggers and the Golden Rule of social media pitching? (Ignore this at your own peril!)
- The “world’s most valuable pitch” follow-up system and why using it will put you WAY out in front of other PR pros.
Module D: Make Pitching Pay – Measure Your Results, Communicate Your Value and Look Like a PR Genius
And finally, you’ll see how to accurately and effectively connect the dots between what you do and what your client or employer GETS because of what you do. I can’t be held responsible if you end up looking like a PR Genius after this!
MODULE D LESSONS:
- The PR Measurement Primer: What You Must Know and Why
- The "Holy Grail" PR Measurement Prototype: The Model For a Perfect World of Measurement
- Duct Tape PR: How to Get Superior PR Measurement in a Less Than Perfect World
- The Halo Effect: Why Your Placements Are Worth Double What You Think
- The Mechanics of Media Measurement: How to Measure and Report Your Media Placements
- The Blatant Self-Promoter: Communicating the True Value of Your Work to Leadership
Find out how to measure your worth:
- The PR Measurement Primer: What you must know and why.
- Understanding the Halo Effect. You’ll discover why your placements are actually worth double (or more!) what you think they’re worth.
- How to measure and report your media placements the SMART way. Chances are that, right now, you’re not getting anywhere near the credit you deserve for your work.
- What data and other clues to collect (and how to collect them) so you can make a powerful case for understanding the true contribution your work provides.
- How to communicate the true value of your work to leadership. What would happen if your boss or client actually understood (and had proof of!) just how valuable you truly are?
Please note: Your enrollment fee will grant you access to the course materials for the next 365 days. That should give you plenty of time to work through everything several times over if you choose.
“Michael’s pitching training provided me with an arsenal of tools to use going forward. I feel like a true PR pro walking away. And I applied what I learned to land positive coverage on CBS Evening News and Fox & Friends.”
— Paul Loisel
Wounded Warrior Project
“One of the first things Michael Smart said in the beginning of his Pitching Boot Camp I attended in Atlanta was, ‘I want this to be your single most productive and beneficial professional development experience.’ I quickly realized this wasn’t just a bold statement. The day-long course was — and still is — the best program I have ever attended in my career — PR or otherwise. Michael provided real-life examples, easily replicable step-by-step instructions for every challenge a media relations pro encounters and gives one hand-on, real-time feedback. I was so impressed by his ability to turn one student’s question into an answer that everyone could relate to. It was incredible to watch each other’s pitches improve (and get responses from journalists!) while we were in the class. For anyone that is looking to bring their media relations expertise to the next level and wants real instruction that will show them exactly how to bring their stories to life for national media and top magazines, I strongly encourage you to attend Michael Smart’s Pitching Boot Camp. If you get to attend one professional development program seminar — choose this one.”
— Gabrielle Ferree
“I can’t say enough good things about Michael Smart’s workshop. Before the workshop, I was underperforming at my agency and felt like a salesperson regularly pestering journalists. In the workshop, Michael elegantly explained how to reach top-tier journalists using casual, authentic communications and a targeted strategy. Soon after the workshop, I secured placements with American Way, Conde Naste Traveler, The Huffington Post, and I got my foot in the door with The TODAY Show. I continue to follow Michael’s pitching strategies to this day, and the placements have continued to roll in.”
— Amelia Richmond
i.d.e.a., San Diego
“I immediately used Michael’s techniques to place our clients in the Washington Post and on the AP national wire, and my national media experience has elevated me within the firm. I’m now PR Director, and I continue to use his formula for national media results weekly to help my team develop new angles and hooks. He provides savvy tips, backed up with a wide range of examples from his own experience, so you can tell the knowledge is there. His teaching style breaks it down to a step-by-step process, all specifics. Michael’s workshop has certainly enhanced my career.”
— Gary Griffin
Director of Public Relations, Adams & Knight
“Michael’s pitching training has changed my career. I’ll never forget when the Wall Street Journal columnist called me after I sent a pitch using Michael’s tactics. He said, “I get 300 e-mails a day, but yours caught my attention.” By following Michael’s advice, I landed a feature story about our company’s product in Journal, on the national AP wire, and in our industry’s top trade publication. The result is that our startup’s sales jumped 6x and stayed there until a successful acquisition. If PR pros want national coverage and are willing to put in the work it takes, they should listen and follow what Michael Smart has to say.”
— Devin Knighton
PR Manager, Instructure
“Quick checkin to share another success story, thanks to your pitching workshop — we landed on the WashPost’s front page with a nice big photo of our huge job fair, this past Fri! I took your advice and pitched a reporter off our normal beat, he was way into the topic and worked on his story with us for two weeks. So, thanks again for all the great tips!”
— Sarah Howe, Our Public Service
“Michael Smart couples current media insights with industry trends and pitching fundamentals that empower your team with the tools and techniques to maximize story placements. His workshop is engaging and not only resonates with staff but more importantly has a tremendous impact on the results we are able to secure for our clients. Michael’s trainings are one of the best investments we make as an agency.”
— Chris Thomas
President, Intrepid Agency
“I took all of the tips you mentioned to heart and used them, and of course they work! I sent an email pitch to Business Insider and they covered us, and our web traffic went up 10X!”
— Mercy Chikowore
Communications Manager, Washington Area Women’s Foundation
Michael Smart, principal, MichaelSMARTPR
Smart has been landing top-tier coverage for 15 years. He also has trained more than 7,000 communicators across the globe on how to boost their media and blog placements, including pros from Allstate, Disney, Verizon, Hilton, Honda, Edelman and many other organizations, large and small. He has been among the top-rated presenters at the PRSA International Conference three times.