I’m not going to lie. It’s hard work to get a journalist to open your email, let alone cover your story in the national realm. But… when it actually happens, you’ll want to scream at the top of your lungs you’re so delighted! So, below are a few tips on how I’ve made it happen for our clients.
- Do Your Research
I can never say this one enough. Research, research, research! Journalists have their own beats (subjects that they write about). Do your research thoroughly so that your pitch will be relevant, not an annoyance. You wouldn’t want to send a coffee review pitch to a reporter who covers fashion. Don’t waste their time. Their finger is already stationed on that delete button, so you need to give them a reason to open and consider your pitch.
It’s simple, kinda. Check them out on their publication’s website and see what he or she has written recently, then reference back to what you saw. If you don’t get enough information there, stock them on social media, that’s what it’s there for right? See what they have been posting/sharing and go from there.
- Be a Human
A cookie-cutter pitch (Hi Miss, or Mr.) not their actual name, ugh that bugs me! Reporters will ignore you if they believe your pitch is spammy. I always recommend sending the email like you would send it to a friend, being robotic takes human quality away. A little detail can go a long way to making your pitch more memorable and persuasive. Be yourself, in email form.
- Don’t Beat Around the Bush
Why are you writing? What are you offering? If the reporter has to hunt through long-winded paragraphs and press releases to find these answers…well, let’s just say they won’t.
- Quality vs. quantity
A pitch that was obviously sent to dozens of other inboxes won’t impress anyone. You might reference an article that the reporter has written that pertains to your story idea or something in the same field. They wrote about shoes, and you’re pitching socks. Boom! The two go hand in hand.
There are a number of PR professionals who believe that volume outweighs quality when it comes to media lists and pitching, and honestly, they often get stuck in pitching quicksand.
It’s my opinion that one well-rounded email has much greater impact than an email with no personal touch sent to hundreds of disinterested reporters. Yes, it takes time to initially research those contacts, but once a relationship is made and established, you will find that you invested your time wisely.
A Few Points to Remember:
- Be sure to personalize the pitch, i.e. use the reporter’s name.
- Craft a catchy subject line.
- Get to the point: keep the pitch short and sweet.