Sometimes I like to imagine what goes through the mind of a reporter when they open their email at the beginning of the day—there must be an overwhelming amount of story pitch emails waiting to be opened. Meanwhile, at the other end of these emails, are PR professionals hoping to secure awesome coverage for their clients.
News circulates quickly, while PR professionals and journalists work hand-in-hand to make sure the right stories are delivered to the right people. But how do you get your pitch, in the midst of hundreds of others, to really stand out?
Here are some tips to assure your pitch makes an impact:
Make sure your email subject line is 7 words or fewer
Long email subject lines can mix up the news hook of a pitch in the midst of many other emails. Make sure your subject line is direct and to the point, explaining in seven words of fewer exactly what you’re writing about. Subject lines that are seven words are fewer are also optimized for mobile, assuring that a journalist will see the entire subject line even if they happen to view it on a mobile device.
Nothing says “I just sent this email to 100 other journalists” like a general opening line and monotonous voice. Be yourself! You’re not a robot, so make sure not to write like one. Journalists will truly appreciate the personal touch and time spent to humanize a message. Make sure to let them know you know who they are and what they cover, and bring a little bit of your own style into your pitch as well.
Get to the point in the first line
With hundreds of pitches flooding their inboxes every day, you don’t want to waste any time getting to the point of what could be an incredible story. Make sure to get to the good stuff right off the bat, so you don’t risk losing them halfway through an email amongst lots of others they could take the time to read.
Make it about them
The journalist is the one who will ultimately be writing a story, so make sure you take the time to understand who he or she is, what they’ve covered in the past, their writing style and more. Study up before pitching a top-tier journalist so that they know you’re aware of what they may be interested in covering.
Show you know the publication
Simple, but very effective. Try to optimize a pitch for the specific section of a publication, and then make sure you’re pitching to a journalist who actually contributes or writes for this specific section. By assuring all of your ducks are in a row beforehand, you’ll save yourself and the journalist time in preparing beforehand.
Enhance your pitch with hyperlinks and stats
When pitching hard news or multi-dimensional stories, give the journalist access to all moving parts by including links to other relevant information, websites and more. Beefing up your pitch with relevant statistics may also help you sell your story to the right journalist.
End with a clear question
Ending with a direct question may help assure you get a response. By asking, “Would you be interested in pursuing this for a story?” or “Would you like to speak with ______ for more information?”, a journalist clearly understands your intentions and can formulate a response on whether or not they are interested.
The Abbi Agency helps you to craft your message and share it with the right people, moving the needle for your business. If you’re looking for input on how to best implement an integrated public relations plan, our team is uniquely qualified to make it happen. Contact us, and find out how.
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