Cluttered e-mail box: Make a great pitch!

Face it. Email boxes have become swamped with chain mail, daily-news bulletins, product announcements and more. So how can PR pros break-free from this mail overload and catch the busy reporter eye?1. Research recipients!: This is pretty straightforward, and relies on your common sense. Most information about journalists and bloggers are readily available via the publication’s Web site, as well as media databases like Cision, or MyMediaInfo – which tell you reporter beats and preferred content. Take time and determine if they’re the right media fit for you.

2. Craft the most interesting E-mail subject line ever: Really. Journalists receive hundreds, if not thousands of emailed pitches EVERY day. There’s not enough time to weed through them all; and let’s face it, the most exciting, newsworthy stories win! Craft a truly eye-catching (but short!) subject line to draw attention to your message.

3. You’ve hooked them…now what? Reporters don’t feel warm and fuzzy receiving “standard” email pitches, so address them by their first name. It shows respect, and adds a personalized touch. Also, take a line or two and mention one of their previous articles. This shows the reader you appreciate his/her time because you took the time to ensure your content is relevant to them.

4. Keep it simple: Emails should be no longer than four short paragraphs. Nobody likes electronic novels – so limit your pitch on three important points. As most e-mails with attachments deliver to SPAM folders, don’t send attachments unless they’re requested.

5. Edit. And edit more: Fine-tune your pitch and get the most pertinent information in. If you spark interest, you’ll get a response. And to that end-include appropriate contact information (hint: phone numbers!) in your Email signature. In my experience, reporters would rather call for details than waste precious minutes typing.

6. Know your product! Pitching journalists does no good if you don’t truly understand your product. No one expects you to have all the answers, but answer inquiries quickly. Reporters are looking for YOUR sources! Make it worth their while. Tip: your media kit should already contain information your contact will need, such as photos, fact sheets and product info – so have it available.

Remember: Reporters depend on your precision. You may e-mail 100 pitches and only get one response! Consider yourself fortunate. After your product receives the coverage you worked so hard to obtain, call the reporter and thank them – you’ll be glad you did. You’ll help secure a lasting relationship for future stories and please your client. Win – win! 

Still need some help drafting a cool pitch? Contact Me today!

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