Public Relations
Public Relations

How any tax accountant can develop a winning PR pitch

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“If I were down to my last dollar, I would spend it on public relations.” – Bill Gates

Why? Public relations (PR) is one of the most effective marketing strategies you can use to position yourself and your firm as an expert, build trust, and generate awareness.

Don’t think you have a big PR story? Most accountants think they don’t. That’s okay. Here are two ways to get press coverage, even if you don’t have a story, as well as a fail-proof strategy to create a good pitch when you do.

Two quick ways to get press coverage without a big PR story

Getting your name out there is essential for attracting new clients. Fortunately, as a tax and accounting professional, you have a wealth of knowledge and insight that will help achieve your goals.

PR tactic #1: Pay attention to press opportunities. Journalists and writers are always looking for expert opinions and examples for their articles, but if they don’t know you, they aren’t going to contact you directly for an opportunity. Instead, they usually put out a call for submissions through tools such as HARO (Help a Reporter Out) and HARO alternatives. When you sign up for these services, you’ll get notifications from journalists who need input. When you find an opportunity that aligns with your target audience and is something that you’re able to offer insight on, it’s time to respond.

Taking the time to put together a good response will drastically improve your chances of getting mentioned. Give the requester all the information they need:

  • Who are you? What is your experience? Why should they trust what you have to say?
  • What is your perspective? Make it quotable and keep it short.
  • Include any links you would like them to put into their content.
  • Let them know how they can reach you, if they need more information.

ProTip: Find the journalist’s real address if you can. HARO and other services use generic mailboxes to collect responses, but if you have a journalist’s email, you can take that extra step to make sure it gets into their inbox, instead of getting trapped in a folder. Make the subject line very clear and personalize your pitch as much as you can.

Nishank Khanna at Clarify Capital used this kind of strategy to respond to a question from a journalist about “being nice as a business strategy:”

Agata Krzysztofik at PiktoChart, formerly from GrooveHQ, used a similar approach, making sure to offer a fresh perspective when sending in a response to press opportunities. You can learn more about how Groove responds to journalist requests in this video, in which I interviewed her about her strategy:


PR tactic #2: Pitch yourself to a podcast. Podcasts are always looking for new guests, as presenters are constantly under pressure to record and produce unique content. To be a guest on a podcast, start by finding podcasts that cover a topic you’re knowledgeable about. In their programs, they may have omitted something important. For example, maybe you’ve found a personal finance podcast, but they did not talk about how to budget or the tax implications of working remotely. If this is something that you’ve helped clients with before, you could contact the host(s) to see if they would be interested in having you as a guest. 

To write a compelling pitch, make sure to include the following information:

  • Why you’re an expert on this topic.
  • Any podcast episodes they’ve done that are relevant to this topic.
  • What they’ve missed in previous episodes, or what you’d like to talk about.
  • Why your episode would be relevant, surprising, or engaging for their audience.

Creating a good pitch for a PR story

If you have a newsworthy story to share, you’ll need to pitch it to a journalist or editor. Pitching can sound intimidating, but it’s really just about following a set of guidelines that makes your story stand out. Journalists get a lot of emails, so formatting your pitch correctly makes it easier for them to say yes.

Personalize the story. Tailor your pitch based on the journalist’s last three articles. Does what you’re talking about align with their current audience and niche? Context is everything. Consider mentioning one of their past articles that is relevant to your story. Forgetting to personalize your email will cost you dearly. Not too long ago, Gaetano DiNardi from Nextiva ran an experiment where he went to a busy mall and walked up to people, reciting cold emails asking for business. The result was unbelievably hilarious. 

Work on your subject line. Your #1 goal is to get journalists to open your email and read it. Ideally, you need a better than 50 percent open rate, meaning that more than half of the recipients need to click to read your email for it to be successful. The subject line is your doorway into their inbox, so it’s super important to focus on this until you get it right:

  • Read other headlines, ad copy, and subject lines that have gotten your own attention in the past.
  • Test subject lines by using an email builder that tracks opens. A drag-and-drop email editor makes it easy to update and personalize your email for each journalist or publication.

Communicate what you do in a one-sentence pitch. If you struggle to outline your unique selling point, Founder Institute offers some excellent advice on how to put together your elevator pitch. State your defined offering, who you’re targeting, what problem you’re solving, and your “special sauce,” or what makes you unique. Remember to keep the pitch short. Your subject line should be a maximum of 80 characters, and your total pitch should be no more than 300 words. If the writer needs more information, they can get in touch with you.

Let’s pull all of that together into a great example of a media pitch from Brian Dean of Backlinko; although it might not include all the information above, it still works well because it’s short and to the point:

Survey Pitch

Key takeaways

Whether you’re responding to a request or pitching a journalist your own story, the takeaways are the same: 

  • Personalize your pitch to make sure it’s relevant to the recipient.
  • Keep it concise and easy to say yes to – people are busy.
  • Tell the journalist why they should care about you and your story.

By keeping these things in mind, and by being persistent, you’ll be getting coverage in no time. Good luck!

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