Pitching the right way to your target media outlet is at the key of successful PR and comms – but both journos and PRs alike know how hard it can be.
When it comes to email pitching, obviously there isn’t the psychological torment that can come with a badly-gone phone pitch. (We’ve all been there!)
But it can be really annoying if you’ve spent loads of time coming up with a pitch and get zero response – especially if you’ve got a boss or client who wants to know what the feedback is.
So here are our top five tips for making a successful tailored pitch to a journalist:
- Know who you’re talking to: You’ll put off the journo straightaway by writing ‘Dear Sir/Madam’. It doesn’t take much to find out the name you need – so get Googling if you don’t know.
- Tailor your pitch: Pitching is about quality, not quantity. Tailor your pitch to those that you think can actually do something with it. If you can’t see where the piece would run on their site or in their publication, don’t send it until you’ve rewritten it so it does fit their brand.
- What’s the point? What’s your pitch for? Are you offering someone for interview? Inviting the journalist to an event? Suggesting a feature idea? A clear direction for your email is key – just burbling on about your client’s amazing new purse-slash-umbrella innovation isn’t enough.
- Keep it short and snappy: Get to the point quickly. Journalists are busy, and their attention won’t be drawn by a wordy, all-the-information-you-could-ever-need email. Write the bare minimum to get your message across – you should whet their appetite with your amazing succinct prose.
- Dial it down: Yes, we’re sure you are genuinely thrilled by your story idea. But suffixing everything with three !!!s, being too informal (we mean you, ‘Hi lovely!’) and putting an ‘x’ at the bottom is more likely to irritate than endear.
Nine Media Training run bespoke in-house training courses for professionals in PR, marketing and comms. We are team of media experts all working in journalism and comms so we specialise in giving the inside track on how the media works, leading to more successful pitching.
Check out our public courses. Or contact us for details on bespoke in-house training.