In a recent blog post, I briefly covered a strategy the content promotion team here at Go Fish Digital likes to call, “pitch swaps.” In that blog post, I gave a high-level overview of this process:
“This is a strategy we’ve incorporated into our routine where we sit down and swap campaigns that are in need of attention and a fresh perspective. Each of us has different viewpoints and areas of interest, from sports to beauty to personal finance. For example, if I lack extensive knowledge about sports, swapping my pitch with a team member who is knowledgeable adds tremendous value to my pitch and insight into that beat.”
Our pitch swaps allow us to lean on another team member’s experience and expertise. As the promotion team mainly works independently, it’s one of the most valuable ways for us to get time collaborating with one another. Read on to learn our reasoning behind pitch swaps.
They See Something You Don’t See
We all process information differently than other people, so it’s very possible that a coworker can visualize a pitch in a way you never thought of. When you look at the same thing over and over, it’s easy to overlook something that someone else might notice right away. Whenever my team swaps pitches, it’s likely that they will find another way of representing the data in my pitch, find grammatical errors, or change up my writing style to flow better. There are always going to be missed opportunities if you don’t get a second set of eyes to help identify them, so I highly recommend pitch swapping for this reason alone.
They Know Something You Don’t Know
Bill Nye once said, “everyone you will ever meet knows something you don’t” and he’s absolutely right.
Leaning on your team members’ expertise can be crucial to the success of your campaigns, especially those in areas you aren’t too familiar with. For instance, last year I – the girl who only knows about sports players based on the celebrity they’re dating – pitched an extensive data campaign about major league teams. I thought I was heading into the campaign with enough knowledge to pitch the right thing to the right people, but it turns out I wasn’t. For this specific campaign, I needed to know what was happening on a week-by-week basis in the NFL, change my pitch accordingly, and find new reporters constantly.
I had almost every member of my team that knew anything about the NFL help me with that pitch (i.e. crafting new angles), and thanks to their insights, I was able to secure multiple organic links.
How to Stay on Top of the News Cycle During a Pitch Swap
While it’s not possible to have extensive knowledge of every topic, there are ways you can be in the know about the news cycle. When I’m pitching a topic that I’m not too familiar with or helping a team member out with their pitch during a swap, I find the following tools to be extremely helpful.
Every Tuesday, Exploding Topics sends me an email of trending topics online before they become too saturated and take off. You can search for exploding topics based on a category that can help you hone in on what’s being discussed in a certain beat. The interesting thing about this tool is that it will also tell you when interest for a topic has peaked. This is helpful because, when you’ve found a topic that has peaked, there’s less online chatter surrounding it which is a good indication of how well a certain piece of content might perform coverage-wise.
Twitter, as we all know, is an incredible way to receive news without having to search for it. I go on Twitter multiple times a day to follow what news stations, national outlets, reporters, and other PR professionals are saying about a certain topic or industry, so my feed is constantly churning out new information.
Many of us set up Google Alerts for our clients, but do you have topic-specific alerts set up? If you don’t, I would get on that sooner rather than later. They offer huge insights into what’s being written about for your selected topic, which can help you and your pitching strategy in the long run. Let’s say, for example, you’re preparing to pitch a campaign about esports, but you have no knowledge about what it is. With Google Alerts, you can set up an esports alert so you can know which outlets and reporters are covering the topic and what kind of stories are being told about it so you can craft your pitch accordingly.
It doesn’t matter if you’re 10 years, 5 years, or 2 years into digital PR – it’s always a good idea to handoff your pitch to another team member. Although specific team members are assigned as leads on a campaign, we’re all in it together. When one person wins, we all win. When one person struggles, we all struggle.
Don’t underestimate the wisdom of the crowd.