In the current media climate, it may seem rather daunting to pitch the media. Believe it or not, journalists are actually actively searching for good news to share, and it does not have to be related to COVID-19. (If you do have something related to the pandemic or need some angle ideas, you can check out our recent blog here.)
Before you put together your next pitch, read through these five tips to help you create a better pitch and increase the chances of gaining a journalists’ attention.
One problem many run into is sending their pitch to the wrong person. Not only can you potentially ruin your chances with that reporter in the future, but your pitch might end up on Twitter under the hashtag #PRFail! Research specific journalists that cover topics that are relevant to your subject. You will also want to routinely make sure they have not switched beats since the time you last pitched them.
When it comes to timing, there are a few aspects you will want to consider. Are you announcing the start of construction on a project? You do not want to pitch this to the media if the project is not starting relatively soon. However, you also do not want to announce something the day before either. Start compiling your email so that it is not too close to when the event or launch is occurring, but close enough that reporters can plan for it.
Less is definitely more! If you are sending an email to a journalist that is more than four paragraphs, chances are they are not going to read it. Aim for two to three concise paragraphs that get straight to the point. It also helps to outline your ideas in the first paragraph so you do not lose their interest right off the bat, and include a powerful subject line to grab their attention.
Whatever you do, never send off your pitch without reading it two to three times. After working on the computer for long periods of time, your eyes start to play tricks on you. It is easy to miss a grammatical error. You also want to ensure you are spelling the reporter’s name correctly and eliminating extra fluff that makes your pitch too long.
If you still have not heard back from a reporter after you have pitched them, they could just not be interested in what you sent them. However, journalists receive dozens of emails a day, so your email could have been lost in the shuffle. Wait at least 24 hours, then reach out to them through email with more information that could add value to what you sent over. Don’t be afraid to call a reporter either! This can help you foster a relationship with them as well.