Pitching has always been the cornerstone of securing earned media coverage. Oftentimes an effective, well-crafted pitch is all that separates the news of the day from a story that no one has heard. Red Banyan’s team of PR and media relations experts understand that reporters are will only respond to something attention-grabbing so you need to think like the news media.

Why would someone care about the information in your pitch? Make your pitch relevant to your target audience so it has value and you will have a better chance of getting a response. Think strategically.

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Effective pitching allows your PR team to raise and answer the question “Here’s why this is important news for you and your audience.” It also allows your public relations team to identify what kinds of stories media outlets are seeking.

But besides actually having a story to pitch, there are some important things PR and marketing pros need to know in order to pitch it effectively.

Here are four tips to successful media pitching:

  1. Create a customized press list. Unless you are pitching to an individual reporter, you will need to create a press list tailored to the specific geographical area and the topic of your story. Make sure you differentiate between consumer and trade publications and adjust your angle and language, depending on the target audience.
  2. Craft a concise and effective pitch email. Journalists receive hundreds of pitches every day and are simply not able to read all of them. To increase the chances of your pitch being noticed, make sure it gets straight to the point. Address each reporter by name and make it clear why he or she should be interested in the story. Don’t try to cram too many details in one email – stay focused on the main idea.
  3. Subject lines matter. Spend time coming up with a compelling subject line. The subject line is what will determine if your pitch email even gets read, so it has to be great. Don’t underestimate the importance of the words you choose for the subject line.
  4. Be concise and to the point. A good pitch tells a story and tells it quickly, in a short, interesting snippet. You only have a few seconds to capture someone’s attention, so a successful pitch must be compelling and relevant. After all, you are trying to convince someone you have a tale that is worth telling.
  5. Follow up. Let’s be real, most of the time you won’t hear back from your press list contacts. That’s why you should always follow up either with a very short email, or a quick phone call. And although it is easy to get frustrated by multiple rejections or unanswered phone calls, you should ALWAYS be respectful to your contacts.

Remember that effective media pitching is also about building long-term relationships with reporters and editors. Take time to build those connections and they will eventually pay off.

Follow these simple rules and chances are, one of your stories WILL become the news of the day.

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