in: Public Relations - Pitching The Media
by: Sabina Hitchen
The ultimate test of patience for an entrepreneur doing their own PR is often the endless amounts of waiting that follow the intense pitching ones does to get the word about regarding a company's products or services.
Of course there are always scores of reasons why a pitch isn't answered as quickly as we'd like (busy editors, not the right time, not the right fit for a story, etc.) That said, if you're pitching editors and producers and still not getting any responses, there are a few things you can be sure you're doing to be sure your pitch is making the most impact it can (and be sure you're not doing any of these Pitching Don'ts). Here's a checklist that I keep and can really make a difference in the process:
- Keep it as short & sweet as possible. When an editor or producer gets a pitch that is several paragraphs long they are highly unlikely to read it. Get to the point quickly and let them know who you are and what you're sharing.
- Use bullets. Eyes love bullets. Bullet out the most important parts of your pitch which could include: Unique Selling Points, Pricing, Materials, Favorite Parts of a Collection you want to share, etc.
- Use images - if you can embed them that is! Attachments sent to people you do not know can be risky - they may not open them or they may get trapped in a spam folder. That said, at Red Branch & at Tin Shingle whenever we pitch the media we include images in the pitch and when we do we instantly see responses go up.
- Include a link to your website within the first couple of sentences so that allows anyone in a hurry to find you fast online, and perhaps get a better idea about your brand than your email provides.
- Do not forget the introduction and the Hello XXX part (you'd be surprised how many people dive into a pitch without the proper etiquette of an introduction. Extra credit if before you pitch you mention a story they did recently and how that you follow them, and that you know your story is relevant to them.
- In the subject line, before the actual subject, include something like "Hi Chris - (insert subject line here)" or "For Tammy: (insert subject line here)". This helps the reader see that you aren't just another spam email or mass email, but a more personal email to them.
Those changes may seem small or unimportant, but they can make a huge difference to the reader, and thus make an impact on the results you're aiming for! Now, read my favorite list of Pitching Don'ts. And download our #PRTuneUp podcast on Fail-Proofing Your Outreach to the Press and Celebrities.