8 Notable Tips for Pitching to Media

Having been on both the PR and media side (obviously) of “the media pitch,” we’ve learned a thing or two when it comes to reaching out to media for a little lovin’ (aka. coverage).

Trust us, your approach makes all the difference.

Here are 8 ways to nail that perfect pitch.

1. Be as Clear as Possible in Email Subject Lines
An added bonus: it’s attention grabbing as well. A well-crafted subject line may determine whether we open it now or later, and will make it easier to find when we catch up on the growing pile of email pitches at the end of the day (or week).

2. Always BCC or Send Mass Emails Through an Email Service
Although we’d only naturally assume that you’re pitching other outlets as well (we’re not that narcissistic), we don’t need to see the list of the countless other publications and wannabe “media” bloggers who are getting the same email. It doesn’t look professional; not to mention, you’ve now given out our email. Thanks?

3. Make it Personal
If you really think that you’ve got something with your pitch, then reach out in a personal email as opposed to a mass email. Address the writer or editor by name and reference a recent event you were both at or another project you worked on together. If you’ve never met personally, it doesn’t hurt to reference some of their recent work. A personal email invites a response (whether it means a bite or a pass) more than a mass-distributed press release does.

4. Tell Us Why Our Demo Should Care
Explain why your product and service will be of interest to our demographic; why do they need to know about it? This, of course, requires a thorough understanding of the demo in question in the first place. For example, if it’s a site dedicated to young professionals and stays away from anything reminiscent of a “mommy blog,” then it’s probably not a good idea to pitch toys and diapers (and yes, that’s a hint). That either tells us that you haven’t taken the time to evaluate the contents of the site in the first place, or that you’re arrogant enough to think you’d be the exception.

5. Make it Reciprocal
The best relationships to have with media are ones that are reciprocal. Meaning, you can offer them something – like first dibs on a story or a prime piece of real estate on a red carpet – and we can offer coverage and will be quicker to open your emails in the future. It’s all about relationship building.

6. Don’t Be Too Persistent
One thing to remember is that writers don’t spent their entire day catering to emails, especially when we’re knee-deep in deadlines and in the zone. So don’t always expect a quick response. With that said, we definitely appreciate a good reminder email if it’s been a while since you’ve heard from us and we’ve already agreed to do a project. But it’s one thing to stay on top of it and another to bother. If we’ve said that we are working on a story and will send you the link when it’s posted, that means just that.

7. Don’t Take it Personally
There could be times (usually when it simply involves the sending of a mass press release), where you’ll be met with radio silence from media. When it comes to pitching media, learn not to take it personally if they don’t bite on a press release or reply to an email. The timing could be off, the product could conflict with an advertorial project, or their managing editor may have rejected the pitch.

8. Share the Love
If we’ve picked up the story, share the love and spread the word by pumping the piece through your social networks as well.


Cover image from: Mad Men

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