Journalists typically receive thousands of emails every day and they’re often expected to produce around eight to ten original stories a day - no wonder they seldom have time to reply!
The truth is that they don't even have time to read emails so if you're pitching for a journalist to cover your business you really do have to grab their attention.
That’s why when it comes to pitching, it’s important to be concise and to the point as well as being able to show the journalist that your story is worth picking up. An effective pitch is a key part of any media relations strategy.
Assume the journalist is only going to read the first sentence of any email - you have to sell your idea in 30 words or less.
Here are some helpful tips you should bear in mind when pitching:
Do your research
A beauty journalist won’t pick up your story about a new product that is up and coming in the food sector.
Make sure you take some time to look at who writes about things related to your client and pitch. If your client is an online fashion brand, you’ll want to target fashion editors and e-commerce writers. You can always dig a little further and see if the journalist published something similar in the past.
This will show the journalist you’ve actually taken time to offer something to their audience rather than just assuming.
Show that your pitch has value
Journalists get tonnes of pitches sent to them everyday and the stories that are worth publishing are usually the ones that can provide their readers with something. Tell the journalist what your story has to offer to their audience - Maybe you have some exclusive data or your own graphic?
Get to the point
Keep your pitch short and don’t waste time trying to bulk it up, just stick to the facts and get in the important information - your client's name, what your press release is about, and what it offers the readers. That first line is very important in determining if the journalist reads on or not.
Lose contact with a journalist after publishing
PR is all about building relationships, if a journalist does pick up your story, it’s always nice to drop them a little thank you email. They may not always respond, but it might make them more likely to pick up future stories, or they may even just come to you directly.
Avoid spamming journalists with the same pitches each day, give it time to settle. Not every journalist will get back to you and some may not have had the chance to get to your email yet. Be patient, flooding a journalist's inbox will only do more harm than good.
Stick to the same pitch
If you find that your story isn’t getting picked up, you may need a new angle. Consider switching up your pitch, make that first line as interesting and as concise as possible - this is what will determine whether the journalist even reads the rest of your email or not.