How to write a pitch or press release about Crufts
It’s the biggest dog show in the world and if you and your dog have been to Crufts, it’s an ideal opportunity to get media coverage.
The combination of cute dogs and a person from the area doing well is the perfect local media feel good story.
So how do you do it?
You have a few options. You can send a quick pitch, or a press release, or you could send a pitch and if you get a yes, send the press release.
How to pitch about Crufts
If you’re pitching before Crufts, you could contact your local media and explain you will be going along.
They might want to feature you ahead of the event, or may ask you to get in touch once you have competed.
If it’s after the event, once you have written your pitch I suggest you pick up the phone and ring your local paper/TV/radio station/website and ask for the news desk.
All you need to say is, ‘Hi, I’m from NAME OF TOWN/VILLAGE and my dog and I came 1st, 2nd, 3rd in the CLASS at Crufts. I wondered if it might be of interest as a story. I can send over a brief account and some photos.’
They may just say ‘Yes, send it over,’ or they may ask for further details and continue the conversation.
If they ask for more details on e mail, ask for the e mail address of the reporter/news editor and if they give you a general one, ask for their name and mark it for their attention.
You need to have you pitch ready to send.
Writing your pitch
Start with the subject of your e mail.
I’m going to pretend I went to Crufts with my old dog Daisy to give you an idea of what to do.
If possible, try to give the journalist something interesting to work with, a human interest story, rather than simply saying you won.
Attach a photo too.
Your pitch e mail should be something like this.
To: Name of reporter
Subject: Jack Russell Terrier from Gosforth wins 2nd place in Best in Breed at Crufts
Thanks for your time on the phone earlier.
I live in Gosforth and work as a pet blogger and was at Crufts at the weekend showing my dog Daisy. She came 2nd in Best in Breed.
Daisy was rescued from Manchester Dogs Home when she was three and was found as a stray, and we have worked very hard to socialise her and train her.
Daisy was the oldest dog in her class at 12 years old, and before the show she overcame pancreatitis, so we are really proud of her.
If you’d like to cover the story, you can call me on 0123456789 and I have attached a photo of Daisy and I at Crufts. I have more high resolution images if required.
I hope to hear from you soon.
What to do if they say yes!
Great, if the reporter wants to speak on the phone, be natural and chatty and try to make your answers as succinct as possible.
They may ask for information about you, your business, your family, your age. This may seem personal, but it’s how they build a picture about who you are for their readers.
It makes you more relatable and puts your story into context.
So answer the questions – people not sharing their age and other innocuous information is a pet peeve of mine and many other journalists.
What to do if they ask for a press release
Don’t panic. You should be able to put together a press release in less than an hour. It doesn’t have to be perfect.
You can download a Press Release template on the link here.
For a Crufts story, I would use a simple headline, similar to the pitch.
HEADLINE: Rescue dog from Gosforth wins Best in Breed at Crufts (Sum the story up in one line)
The first few paragraphs should contain a few more details
The owner of a rescue dog from Gosforth is celebrating after coming second place at Crufts.
Rachel Spencer took her Jack Russell terrier Daisy to the prestigious dog show for the first time last weekend.
Daisy was found as a stray and Rachel, 43, a pet blogger, adopted her in 2009 from Manchester Dogs Home.
Then include some direct quotes from you – I know this is weird but that’s how it works!
Rachel said: “I never dreamed Daisy would go to Crufts. When she first came to live with us she was forever escaping from the garden and was a little scamp.
“But we worked very hard on her training and we were absolutely over the moon to qualify for Crufts where she was so well behaved.
“The judge said (Insert what the judge said here) and it was such a fantastic surprise to be placed.”
Include some more detail if possible – can you include a quote from the judge/Crufts/The Kennel Club similar to the one below?
Caroline Kisko, Kennel Club Secretary, said: “We are delighted to see Dylan chosen as the Toy Group winner today. Dylan and Kathleen should be very proud of reaching the prestigious Best in Show final – it’s an incredible achievement and one that not many get to experience in their lifetime.
“Crufts celebrates healthy, happy dogs and recognises the special and unique bond between dogs and their owners. Dylan is such an excellent dog that clearly has a great relationship with his owner, and is at home in the show ring.”
If you have a dog business, perhaps you’re a trainer or groomer, now is the ideal time to mention it before ending your press release by simply writing ‘Ends’
Rachel writes about Daisy’s adventures and other inspiring pets and owners on her blog, The Paw Post at www.thepawpost.co.uk
Notes to the Editor
Here, include a little background information about you or your business. When it was founded, where you live, how many dogs you have and how journalists can contact you to find out more. Include your e mail and phone number.
Smartphone pics are fine, just make sure they are of a decent quality, so you looking at the camera, not blurred or with lots of people in the background.
I hope this helps if you’re looking to gain media coverage related to Crufts and if it does, I would love to read any stories or hear about it!
You can let me know via the contact form or join my Facebook community for regular hints and tips on creating content for your pet business if you click here.
Hi, I’m Rachel, a freelance journalist and PR and content consultant and crazy dog lady!
I’ve written so many stories about animals and pet brands that I wrote a book on how pet entrepreneurs can do their own PR.
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