Now’s a Fine Time for You to Pitch Your Utility
ID 125766080 © Artur Szczybylo | Dreamstime.com
- Nov 28, 2019 12:34 am GMT
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It’s the day before Thanksgiving, and there isn’t all that much to do at my “day job” as a newspaper editor.
And that means now — with “now” referring to the next few weeks — is a great time to be pitching whatever there is at your utility that you wish to promote.
For one thing, the news cycle starts slowing down, especially locally. Yes, things still happen, but schools start to go out on break, people take vacations and governments of all stripes slow the activity level.
In newsrooms run on a shoestring, vacationing employees put added stress on those still working — but there’s still paper, airtime and radio time to fill. Because there’s less news (unless you’re a reporter who really enjoys writing the same holiday shopping stories over and over), journalists often struggle to find interesting things to cover.
That’s where you — your utility’s public relations team — enters the picture. The chances that your good pitches draw interest will improve, perhaps significantly.
Note that I said good pitches.
Yeah, your evergreen energy-savings tips pitch might get some play, but anything that’s self-serving is going to bomb.
Instead, pitch a unique program that your utility offers or maybe promote some interesting technology. You could also pitch a profile of an interesting executive or even a middle manager or rank-and-file worker with a unique story to tell — especially if there’s some sort of holiday connection.
Don’t forget that newspapers need op-eds, especially this time of year when they’re receiving trite pitches about “what the holidays mean to me” or something of that ilk.
If you’ve got an important topic to opine about, suggest it.
A couple hot topic ideas might be the pros and cons of burying power lines, the realities of converting to greener energy generation and the vagaries of weather and your utility’s response to power outages.
Your PR department may well be hampered itself by vacation, year-end products or 2020 planning, but don’t forget pitching. While pitching may always be a low-win proposition, your odds should be somewhat better for the next five weeks.