In the State of PR 2020, 63% of PR pros said that finding and interacting with journalists is one of their biggest challenges.
Sending a pitch is essentially asking a journalist to do you a favor – in exchange for providing them information and something their readers will find interesting, they will write a story about your brand or idea. So, if you tell someone a bad story, and then still ask for that favor, you’re going to have pretty bad odds of them agreeing.
To make matters worse, thousands of other companies are doing the same thing, day in, day out. It’s no wonder that as many as 90% of outreach emails never receive a response!
The good news is, not all hope is lost! If you build strong relationships with reporters, you may find they will want to work with you again and again. SO, what can you do to increase your chances of your pitches sticking?
Tip #1 for any pitch: Make sure your story is newsworthy
Before you even think about pitching the media, you need to think about if your news is actually newsworthy. If the answer to that question is yes, great! The next question to ask yourself is if your news is presented in an exciting way that will get people interested.
Keep it short!
Introduce yourself, add a FEW SENTENCES to convey your key message or summarize your news, and close with your offer – speaking with an expert, an exclusive interview, etc.
If you can hook a journalist, you’ll be able to share more information down the line, so just use this initial email as the hook and build from there.
Improve your subject lines
And not just improve, but rethink entirely! Use the subject line to tell your story and hook the journalist before they even open your email. And, data shows this works! Subject lines of 36-50 characters perform 33% better than those with just 1-15 characters.
Make it topical and relevant to the recipient
This should go without saying, but CUSTOMIZE your pitches! Look at the topics the journalists you are reaching out to cover, and HOW they cover them.
Do they write about the development of the topic, the players involved, or focus on the before and after story? Knowing these details will help you tailor your pitch so they can see it as a story as well.
Focus on building a relationship
If you follow the basic pitching tips, you’ll already be ahead. But, to take it one step further and really see your PR results grow, focus on building relationships with the journalists covering your industry.
These are going to be the journalists you’ll be working with time after time, so it’s important to understand how you can help make it easier for them to cover your company or what they are looking for in their coverage. The best way to build relationships is to find something you can do to help that person, and start there.
There’s no one right way to craft a pitch, but keeping these tips in mind can help your pitches land so you see more success through your PR outreach. Follow the tips in this post and tailor them to your news. With a bit of time and experimentation, you’ll find what works and what doesn’t – and maybe get some great PR wins along the way!