The Do’s and Don’ts of Media Pitching
Whether you are an aspiring PR pro or the CEO of a growing startup, the ability to present your story in front of journalists and other influencers in an effective and engaging way is essential to your professional success. To help you improve your media communications, we have compiled the following list of do’s and don’ts you should follow when crafting your next email pitch.
- Write your subject line as if it were the title of a news article. When crafting your email pitch, make sure your subject line gives the reporter an idea of what the actual news is. Stay away from “click-bait” titles like “must see product from XYZ” or vague descriptions like “good news from XYZ.”
- Keep your pitch short and simple. Reporters and other media influencers don’t have time to read through pages of press releases. Start with the most important news and follow up with details. Some pitches may benefit from conveying the information in bullet points. In any case, try to keep your pitches limited to no more than 150 words.
- Make it personal. Address your contact by name and make sure your story fits within their particular specialty.
- Include a call to action. After stating your news, offer to coordinate an interview, provide official statements or other information that your contact might need for their story.
- Puff up your pitch with marketing language. Instead, focus on the facts and answer the Five W’s: who, what, where, when and why. Base your writing on nouns and verbs rather than adjectives.
- Simply send the copy of a press release. Even if you just want to distribute a press release to a list of contacts, don’t forget to include a brief summary with the most important details above.
- Attach files to your email. Messages with attachments are often flagged as spam by email systems. If you absolutely have to include a file or an image with your pitch, upload it to a file-sharing server and provide a link to it in the body of your email.
- Copy and paste language from an existing press release. Don’t cut corners by communicating redundant content to your media contacts. Every press release deserves a unique pitch that would engage journalists and help you secure the media coverage you are looking for.