While the media landscape continues to shift, pitching remains a top means for communicating with journalists and securing quality results. Whether you are a seasoned PR professional or recently started your communications career, here’s a refresher on how to successfully pitch media and secure coverage.
1. Do your research.
Get to know who you are pitching. Once you have identified your target contact, read their latest articles or listen to the most recent episodes of their podcast to have a better understanding of the contact’s style and tone, their professional interests, and what they’ve recently covered. As with much of the world, people are also changing jobs at a rapid pace, so you will want to make sure the reporter is actively writing prior to pitching.
2. Keep it brief.
According to Muck Rack, some journalists can receive nearly 300 emails a day. Your pitch needs to be concise (250 words or less) and relevant (this is where the research comes in handy) – otherwise you risk being skimmed over or immediately deleted. Keep your subject line simple and direct, and reduce “fluff” to get to the point of your pitch.
3. Provide a CTA.
Don’t forget to provide a strong call to action for the media. If you would like to offer an interview to the journalist or let them know they can leverage information within the pitch for an upcoming story, make sure you explicitly say so within your pitch. Make their job easier.
4. Be a thought leader.
By having a larger awareness of industry trends beyond your own company, you can provide the reporter with valuable context. This will incentivize them to reach out for your insight on other industry news and trends. Be prepared to provide information or answer questions beyond your pitch.
5. Be mindful of timing.
Journalists are more responsive to pitches sent early in the day. PR professionals should aim to send out proactive pitches or features in the morning. However, if there is a breaking story during the middle of the day that is relevant for your client and a particular media contact, it is critical to quickly pitch that media contact with relevant information.
6. Beyond the pitch.
Once you’ve connected with a journalist, create an ongoing conversation with the reporter. Make sure you provide as much information to the journalist as possible, answer any follow-up questions promptly, provide visual supporting assets and stay connected. The goal is to become a go-to resource for their future content.
Have you landed a media interview? Check out this blog post next to nail it!