Secrets to Pitching Newsworthy Spa PR

PR Spa Marketing
With thought, time and creativity, there are many ways that you can increase the chances of your PR pitch turning into a story.
By Trueffelpix -

Is there a perfect pitch when it comes to spa news? Speaking from more than three decades in communications, including 15 years leading a public relations firm, I can honestly say there is not. Don’t be discouraged: With thought, time and creativity, there are many ways that you can increase the chances of your pitch turning into a story.

Before we get to those insider secrets, you must remember that a media pitch is a concise, compelling story idea sent to a journalist. So, what do journalists look for in a pitch, when do they like to receive them, how many words should be in one? Research from public-relations management platform Muck Rack shows:

  • Most journalists receive 5 to 10 pitches per day, and 67% of them prefer pitches that are under 200 words.
  • Most journalists (more than 90%) prefer to be pitched via email.
  • More than half (55%) don’t care which day they are pitched. Of those who do, 22% prefer to be pitched on Mondays.
  • 24% of journalists say they reject pitches if they aren’t personalized.
  • 69% say pitches that connect with a trending story are sharable on social media.1

What’s Newsworthy?

Regardless of the day of the week you send the pitch, a newsworthy story makes or breaks your chances for coverage. When crafting a newsworthy pitch, consider these factors.

Timing: To be newsworthy, your story topic should be about something that is new. An exception is when you can send a new twist on a story or relate it to something else that has recently taken place.

For example, the opening of a spa or launch of a product line are very timely, and holiday-specific pitches (Mother’s Day, Christmas, etc.) are great ways to secure coverage year-round. When new industry research is released, consider tying that into your pitch as well.

This year, the Summer Olympics news cycle is an opportunity to tie in themed treatments and events. On the other hand, the US presidential election is also this year. I don’t recommend pitching spa news during the election timeframe in November, as it will likely be lost.

Personalization: Pitches should be specific to journalists’ niche topics (lifestyle, business, etc.). Additionally, I don’t recommend sending mass pitches. By taking the time to send individual emails with a personalized greeting, the chances of your pitch becoming a story increase.

Location, location, location: News and events that happen near people are more relevant than those taking place elsewhere. If you can come up with a local angle to a national or regional story, it’s going to have a much better chance of being covered.

Name drop: Along the same lines as proximity, pitches about local politicians, business leaders and celebrities typically command attention. Sometimes, you can even tie a national celebrity into your local pitching, i.e., “Our spa carries products that are used by Taylor Swift.” Be sure to confirm that the celebrity use is factual—you don’t want to be on Taylor’s bad side!

Human interest: These stories, which are sometimes referred to as evergreen, don’t have to follow the same rules as newsworthy stories. Instead, the most critical element of a fantastic human interest story is strong emotional appeal.

Unique and unusual: Is your spa haunted by a friendly spirit? Do your skin care products contain flowers that only bloom once a decade? Unique, unusual or quirky stories are commonly featured for light relief among the main news stories, which are often negative.

Related: 3 Tips to Leveraging PR in Marketing

Planning Your PR

To decide how pitches should be planned throughout the year, you should create a PR calendar. This is one central place where all pitch ideas, events, launches, etc. are listed. For ease of updating and sharing, consider using Google to create and store the calendar.

It’s up to you how far in advance you plan. I tend to plan at least six months ahead with clients, but planning by quarter may make more sense for your team. Or, at year-end, you may be able to plan for the next year or at least create a basic calendar for the next 12 months.

To keep everyone on the same page, calendar planning should be a group effort. You’ll depend on your PR, social and marketing teams to promote the various things that are in the calendar, and it’s a good idea to have them involved from the beginning. It’s also useful to review the calendar during team meetings.

Be sure to update the calendar often; don’t create it and walk away. It’s important that the calendar is a “living” document that can be easily used by your team for planning.

With all of this said, be flexible with the calendar. Opportunities will come up and things will change. The calendar is there as your foundation.

A smart way to begin filling out the calendar is by creating a theme for each month. For example, Valentine’s Day could serve as the theme from which you build promotions, social media, communications and events in February.

Next, consider your vendors. Many product companies assist their spa clients by attending events, creating unique launches and more. Keep open communication with them so that you can plan effectively.

Launches, openings and renovations are newsworthy and should be noted in the calendar. Keep product and treatment launches in mind as well.

Finally, it’s good business to support local events, charity galas, health conferences, etc. Note community commitments on the calendar and build in time for social media posts, marketing and PR to promote your sponsorship, booth, speech or whatever you may be doing there.



Respected for her communication skills and media relationships, Debra Locker Griffin has worked in public relations and journalism for three decades. She is president of Debra Locker Group (, a boutique agency specializing in spa, wellness and beauty. Griffin was previously ISPA’s PR director and a TV journalist.

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