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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
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.
- 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.
- 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.