In the world of PR, journalists and media outlets receive countless pitches every day. So, how do you ensure your pitch not only stands out but also yields maximum results? Our recent work with Peter Chang Baltimore, the newest Baltimore restaurant owned by nationally acclaimed Szechuan chef Peter Chang, is a prime example of how to maximize the value of a single pitch.
The Devaney & Associates PR team’s primary goal for this media outreach initiative was to spread awareness that the new restaurant is now open in Baltimore, serving authentic Szechuan cuisine in a fast-casual environment. Our team then worked to pinpoint a broader, seasonal topic to build a newsworthy pitch around, which in this case was China’s Mid-Autumn Festival. This holiday is also known as the Moon Festival or Mooncake Festival and is a significant celebration in Chinese culture to give thanks to the moon; pray for better luck, fortune, and fertility; and reunite with family. To celebrate this, Peter Chang Baltimore would host a Moon Festival celebration where attendees could enjoy all-you-can-eat food, including traditional mooncakes, live music, and cultural performances.
From one pitch, Peter Chang Baltimore gained media coverage in four local media outlets including The Baltimore Sun’s Bits and Bites column, Baltimore Magazine’s Open & Shut column, JMORE Magazine’s November food issue, and a live TV hit on the WJZ at 9 morning news show. Let’s discuss how to build a pitch that resonates with your audience and gains results across multiple media outlets.
Tailor Your Pitch to the Right Audience
This Peter Chang Baltimore pitch was successful because it was tailored to the right audience. Knowing our primary PR goal was to promote the opening of the new restaurant, we determined our target audience would be local media outlets that covered food, lifestyle, and entertainment.
The pitch also emphasized certain angles that mattered to each outlet’s readers. For instance, The Baltimore Sun’s weekly Bits and Bites column typically features news from Baltimore restaurants, so we emphasized that Peter Chang Baltimore was the best local spot to purchase traditional Chinese mooncakes. As a monthly magazine, JMORE was looking for feature stories for its November food issue, so we chose to highlight a bit of Chef Peter Chang’s background while reminding the audience of his new restaurant’s opening, by offering one of the chef’s favorite holiday recipes. By customizing the pitch to fit the intended audience, our PR team maximized our chances of getting picked up by each outlet.
Leverage Multiple Forms of Media
One pitch can yield multiple media placements across different formats. Peter Chang Baltimore’s pitch garnered coverage in print (daily and monthly), online, and broadcast media. The PR team highlighted the restaurant’s events and its menu in ways that were beneficial to each type of media. For example, for the print articles in JMORE, The Baltimore Sun, and Baltimore Magazine, we offered high-resolution images of the mooncakes sold by the restaurant. For live TV, we worked with the producers to coordinate a live shot within the restaurant with plated food and Chef Chang’s demonstration of carving his signature Peking Duck while the general manager was interviewed on air about the restaurant and their special Moon Festival promotion. This helped make each clip unique to the different media outlets and a better fit for the particular form of media being used. With each additional placement, the restaurant gained more impressions, further creating an overall positive perception of the brand. So, think outside of the box and know that your pitch can lead to different types of media placements.
Keep Your Pitch’s Angle Newsworthy and Timely
This pitching effort was successful for Peter Chang Baltimore because it was timely and newsworthy, something journalists are always looking for when choosing the topics they will write about and share with readers. Choosing to center this pitch around the restaurant’s Moon Festival celebration, a festival celebrating family togetherness and cultural traditions in China, made the topic newsworthy. It was an event that the media could understand and feature easily. So, keep your pitch timely and newsworthy, and be sure to tie into significant local events or trends to garner relevant media attention.
Maximizing the value of a single PR pitch can be challenging, but by targeting the right recipients, leveraging various forms of media, and keeping the pitch timely and newsworthy, our PR team was able to gain solid media placements for the client and increase awareness of Peter Chang Baltimore.
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