As a male in a predominately female office, I’ve had to learn to adapt to the likes and dislikes of the female majority when it comes to pop culture. One of those things, which I have now grown to love, is The Bachelor. I began by checking out The Bachelorette last season with hesitation, but during this season of The Bachelor, you can find me at the center of any office discussion involving the latest drama from the recent episode (even if nobody agrees with my support of this season’s villain, Corinne). I even joined a fantasy league!
Despite my draft picks looking like bad decisions, I’m convinced I know what it takes to get far, possibly even to win. The more I thought about what it takes to get a rose, the more I started to see some parallels to pitching the media. While the tactics used may be drastically different, there are some common themes that both the women on the show and public relations professionals should follow to achieve their respective goals.
Grab their attention. One of the highlights of any season of The Bachelor is how the women exit the limo and make their first impression. These entrances can range from bringing a small present to riding in on a camel (as Lacey did this season). While these tend to be exaggerated and silly, the simple point is that they need to be memorable. The same thing can be said when you pitch the media. And ultimately, this boils down to your subject and your opening. Reporters get hundreds of pitches from PR professionals, so having a clever, yet intriguing, subject line is key to standing out. That’s not where it ends, though. Now that you’ve grabbed a reporter’s attention, you must keep it by discussing something interesting. Make a connection between your client and something in the news or the results of a recent study that’ll justify your outreach.
What’s in it for them? She had by far the most memorable entrance. She is the most attractive woman of the entire season. She’s a shoe-in to get a rose and make it to the end, right? Wrong. While this may buy a few weeks, if a contestant really wants to have a happy ending, she’s going to need more than just a pretty exterior. Any chance the contestants have with the bachelor, they need to show their personality and make a connection that will make him want more each week. When pitching, your subject and opening might be the most creative thing you’ve ever written, and you might have timed it perfectly with the news cycle, but if you don’t offer the reporter what he’s looking for, you will not be successful. Building a mass media list with no additional research – although faster and easier – will not be fruitful. If you take a few minutes to check what the reporters cover, and find what type of person they would be interested in interviewing, you will have greater success. Similarly, if you research properly, you may even be able to offer a source who can enhance the story by commenting on an angle the reporter didn’t realize she needed.
Honesty isn’t just recommended; it’s a requirement. Did she leave her boyfriend to come on the show? Is she a known cheater? Is she lying about her age or job? If a contestant is lying about something, it’s going to come out eventually, so it’s best for her not to do it. As soon as the bachelor finds out, she will be sent home. Are you lying about your clients’ backgrounds or fudging numbers to grab reporters’ attention and secure an interview? If you said yes to either of these, please stop. There is nothing worse than lying to the media about your client. A reporter will do his research and find out what you’re doing. Not only will this be a failed pitch, but you could also end up blacklisted by the reporter and any of his or her colleagues. Your client will probably not be too pleased if they find out, as well.
Timing is key. Each episode of The Bachelor contains a group date and sometimes a cocktail hour. Oftentimes, these will be the only chance the contestants have before the rose ceremony to talk with the bachelor. If they don’t make a move at the right time, they could go home. If a contestant grabs him too quickly or interrupts another woman too soon, it could be the kiss of death. If she doesn’t grab him at all, she risks being forgotten. There’s also the matter of timing the first kiss, but I won’t go into detail on that here. Likewise, timing your pitch could make or break it. Are you pitching on a Friday or a Tuesday? Is there a major event happening that could require all of the media’s attention, like with this past election? Are you pitching right before a holiday when reporters might be out of the office? These are all things to consider before you send your pitch, and they could be the deciding factors in securing coverage.
Do you have any other tips to get the media to accept your rose pitch? Let us know in the comments.