Sending out a targeted pitch email to a journalist? Make sure you’re not including any of these common, but potentially disastrous phrases.
‘This would be perfect for your readers’
This crops up a LOT in those generic so-called pitches that have been actually sent out to thousands of journalists on a mailing list – and it’s always a total giveaway that the PR sending the email has no idea who ‘your readers’ are.
Usually the subject matter is something so random and irrelevant that it’s totally unsuitable for your readers (whoever they are) and the patronising, assumptive tone of this phrase really gets our backs up. The last time I received a so-called ‘pitch’ claiming a quiz about flooring (!) would be ‘perfect for my readership’ I emailed the PR back to ask him why he’d come to that conclusion. He never replied.
Tip: if you’re pitching to a journalist because you know your piece would be perfect for their readers, the pitch itself should explain why.
‘I really hope you’re well and that you had a great weekend!’
You know what, I kind of assume that you wish me well. I assume you don’t wish I had a terrible/boring/traumatic weekend. It’s basically all good between us. That is, until you receive this oh-so-common opening sentence from a PR who couldn’t pick you out of a line-up. Then frankly, it sounds very insincere.
It’s also a total waste of space – you have a matter of seconds to grab your target journo’s attention so don’t clog it up with waffly, generic and needless ‘niceties’. If you know the journo personally, by all means, check that they haven’t broken their back in a freak skydiving accident. But if you don’t know us, just get straight down to business.
‘Not sure if this would be of interest or not, but…’
If you don’t think this is right for me, haven’t you just made your job a lot harder?
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