Do you find it difficult to write a media pitch? Tweaking your approach a bit and understanding what journalists are looking for can help.
There’s a lot of competition to get the right attention and mentions and most editors and journalists will receive dozens of media pitches every day. So, it’s important to make yours stand out.
These 6 tips will help you connect with journalists, distribute relevant content to the right people, and turn your pitch into a newsworthy story.
Follow the advice below, provided by PR Agency Polymedia PR, to help you produce a sound media pitch.
What makes a media pitch work?
- Do your homework
Before you start writing your PR pitch, spend some time figuring out who your target audience is and what their interests are, it’s important to have a good PR strategy in place. Once you build a list of the sites and publications where your audience visits or reads, you can start to think about how you can tailor your pitch to each of these.
It’s also good practice to research the person and publication you’re contacting before you pitch – it’s got to be relevant, of course. What are their most covered topics and how does this link to what you’re pitching? What have they covered recently?
Sometimes it’s worth getting to know your target ahead of sending them your pitch. Connect with them on LinkedIn or engage with their posts to work yourself onto their radar.
- Find your angle or news hook
Ideally, your media pitch will offer new, exclusive information or could be relative to a popular topic or date. If your article can be linked to something that’s happening in the news, that’s even better.
Crafting your pitch around an angle means your target journalist doesn’t have to; this saves them time and makes them more likely to respond positively to your pitch.
Make it clear what the news hook is and why it’s relevant to the journalist and their audience too.
As mentioned, journalists receive dozens of these so it’s likely they won’t fully read every PR pitch that arrives in their inbox. Therefore, you should open your pitch with this important information first.
- Keep it short
Journalists usually prefer to receive media pitches via email, so when writing it, keep it brief, and get straight into the purpose, the story, and why they should cover it.
The last thing the person you’re pitching to wants is to read a seemingly endless block of text that never gets to the point of the pitch. There’s no time for introductions or to explain every detail. Get straight to the point and if they like it, they’ll reach out.
A tip is to grab them with the first line. The best way to write a concise media pitch is to summarise your idea in the first sentence. Your reader doesn’t have time to decode your writing. Putting a summary in the first few lines spark interest from the start and keep their attention for the duration of your pitch.
- Put time into writing your subject lines
For writing a successful PR pitch, you want the email subject line as well as the intro to be attention grabbing, to ensure a journalist reads the rest of it.
The subject line of your email pitch should contain your news hook – the one thing that makes your story stand out and demands the journalist’s attention.
A nice selling point you could use in your subject line is to offer your pitch as an exclusive or as an embargo. This is often attractive to journalists because of the chance that no one else will be able to use it.
- Make sure you time it right
You’ll need to think about the time (and day) you hit send, because some have better success rates than others. The best time of day to send media pitches is usually early morning to noon; ideally on a Monday through Wednesday.
Sending a pitch mid-morning gives you a better chance of it standing out in an inbox, once the recipient has caught up on the previous days emails and sent out any urgent mails.
While some publications might be active seven days a week, there can still be a lull in pick up rates. If you pitch it midweek, it’d more likely to be picked up, as opposed to sending first thing Monday morning – Mondays and Fridays are not as effective.
- Follow up
If a journalist contacts you about your PR pitch, you should answer right away. Many will have a turnaround time of just one to two days, so if you don’t answer them, they’ll move on to the next pitch.
Journalists are incredibly busy, so some people think that following up on a pitch or press release is a bad idea, while others think it’s ok to give a journalist a gentle nudge. If don’t get a response, you can slightly tweak your pitch email and send again – your email pitch may have got lost.
Give it three days and then send a follow-up email to ensure they got your first one. Chances are they haven’t read it yet and this will prompt them to do that.
If you do get a positive response to your media pitch then this is your opportunity to build a relationship with the journalist.
By using the 6 tips above, you’re increasing your chances of writing a compelling media pitch that journalists will love. Taking the time to personalise pitches, write to an angle and research target audiences will improve your chances of getting your brand out there.