Considering that I don't have a full time job where I'm sitting at a desk for 40 hours a week, and my part time job gives me a lot of free time, in my spare time I like to do projects that sharpen my PR skills. I figure nothing can be wrong with getting better at what you do, and the worst that can happen is someone would say no to me or in this day and age, no one will respond to an email. So ,in an effort to keep growing and pushing myself out of my comfort zone, I recently challenged myself to see if I can pitch a story to the media.
When the owner of The Faces of H.O.P.E., asked her staff to spread the news of the opening of their new location on Martin Luther King Jr. Day., I decided to lend a helping hand. I've been noticing a growing trend of newscasters actively posting on their Facebook pages, so I threw out the idea of an email pitch, simply because emails can get lost in a clogged mailbox, and Facebook messages are usually answered quicker. After a little research, I decided that WRIC Anchor Amy Lacey had a background that could garner interest for The Faces of H.O.P.E. and replied to messages frequently and so I sent a pitch via Facebook Messenger.
I wasn't expecting anything in return, mainly because I know how busy reporters can be, but luckily, she responded back to me, and after a bit of chatting, I sent her some good quality pictures that were not only posted on her Facebook, but they were shown on the 5pm ABC News broadcast on MLK Jr. Day.
Not only was this featured on ABC news, CBS6 picked up the event and listed it on their website as well. So not only did I surprise myself by getting a company featured on the news, I got two different networks to feature the story. On the same day no less!
When I think about this new way of pitching stories to the media, it reminds me of a conversation my friend and I had recently, about how a lot of PR people don't take younger people in the profession seriously because of their age. I know a lot of people probably don't take me seriously when I say that I have 6 years of experience, but don't take it lightly. It doesn't take years of experience in this field to get results that you want, you have to apply the basic principles of public relations over and over again. It doesn't matter whether you're a 24 year old who freelances or a 60 year old APR with numerous awards from the PRSA.
It's good to know that when you take a leap of faith you land safely as long as you take that first step. I'm looking forward to the new opportunities and challenges that I will face in my field in order to get ahead. When's the last time you took a leap of faith in your career and exceeded your expectations? Let me know your thoughts.