Pitch Please: 7 Ways to Get A Response

Pitching is one of the most important aspects of public relations. You, as a public relations professional, are essentially selling an idea. A good pitch can help get reporters interested in your angle and hopefully lead to coverage. Reporters are busy people and do not have time to respond to every pitch inquiry that they receive. Want to make your pitch stand out and get a reporter’s attention? Here are some tips that helped me secure interest from reporters.

  1. Make it interesting and newsworthy

Read over your pitch and ask yourself two questions: Would someone else find this interesting? Is it newsworthy? If your pitch isn’t interesting or newsworthy, revise it before continuing.

  1. Be concise

No one wants to, or frankly has the time to, read a long pitch email. Keep it as short, yet still effective. Once you spark their interest, you can send a more detailed follow-up email.

  1. Tailor the subject line and pitch

Hook reporters with an interesting subject line. If you are targeting reporters that are in the same area as the client, mention that. Always address your pitches to the specific reporter. No one wants to read a generic pitch.

  1. Compliments are key

While you are researching reporters and potentially contacts, look to see what they have written about in the past. Before you start in with the pitch, it always helps to leave them a compliment such as: “I enjoyed reading your article about XX. This story about XX might be something you are interested in.” If they have written about your client before or a similar client, be sure to mention that.

  1. Follow-up

If you don’t get a response the first day, try forwarding the email and try again. If you send a few emails and do not get a response, follow-up with a phone call.

  1. Utilize feedback

If you get a few reporters who decline your pitch, find out why they did. Is it a boring angle? Was it not newsworthy or relevant? This is easier done when on the phone, but negative feedback is better than no feedback.

  1. Be persistent

Pitching can be downright frustrating and uncomfortable, but don’t give up. If an angle doesn’t work, then find out why and change it. There are many ways to tell a story. Be persistent, but not annoying.

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3 thoughts on “Pitch Please: 7 Ways to Get A Response

  1. These were some great tips for pitching to a client. I think one main thing i struggle with is the follow up. Not knowing how soon to follow up, or how many times is too much. Great post!

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  2. A.Barclay

    I like that you noted utilize feedback as well as follow up. It is so important to follow up when you are contacting others professionally for pitches. Many do not follow up and miss out on opportunities, so it is important not to hesitate on a follow up. Also, good point to utilize feedback! How are you ever going to get pitches approved if you do not figure out what is flawed??

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  3. These are some great suggestions! I really agree with the line, “If you get a few reporters who decline your pitch, find out why they did.” This step is so important that most people typical skip. After you have pitched something, you have only completed 50% of the work. The other 50% comes after when you follow up, make edits and continually strive for success.

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