“No tears in the writer, no tears in the reader. No surprise in the writer, no surprise in the reader.” – Robert Frost
Media pitching is on every PR pros’ task list. The art of writing a pitch is just that – an art. One can spend hours rewriting those three to five sentences in the hopes that their client or
company will be picked up by the journalist. Whether it’s an email pitch, by phone, or in person, strategic thinking goes a long way. So what are some tips to writing an effective pitch?
- Be short and concise. It’s not easy getting everything you want to say into three to five sentences. This should be the rough rule for pitching by email. Anything more than a page will lose your reader. Remember, you want the pitch to lead into providing the journalist with more information. You do not need to include all the details up front.
- Make it compelling. This is easier said than done. However, if you turn something boring into an interesting storyline, the journalist will have more incentive to pick it up. Journalists get hundreds of pitches a day. Try to be creative and catchy. Be sure to spend time
thinking about a good subject line if you’re pitching by email.
- Believe in what you’re pitching. One piece of career advice I’ve held with me is to make sure you believe in the client, company, or industry you’re working in. Your job will be more difficult if you aren’t invested in the outcome. You have to have faith in what you’re selling.
- Personalize. No reporter wants to get a pitch that has been modified by only a name change. Spend the time reading the journalist’s latest articles and familiarize yourself with their topics. This will make your pitch more authentic.
- Research, research, research. The last thing you want to do is pitch to the wrong
reporter. Not only are you wasting your time, but also theirs. If you want to increase your chances of getting coverage, pitch to the right reporters.
- Expect rejection. Maybe a similar topic has just been covered, or perhaps you didn’t get right to the point. Whatever the reasoning for a failed pitch, don’t give up. Go back and work at it.