In order to gain coverage for your company, you must start with a pitch to the media. If a pitch isn’t compelling and intriguing, then you’ll have a challenging time capturing a journalist’s attention, who likely receives hundreds of pitches a week. You must tell your story briefly, be informative and keep your pitch tailored to a target audience. Here are some tips to keep in mind as you write your pitch.
Start small and form relationships with local journalists
Don’t expect to be extremely popular immediately and effortlessly. It’s best to start small and get to know local journalists that are relevant to your industry. You can do this by following them on social media and giving them attention there, establishing a connection. Without these connections, pitching to the media will be just as difficult every time, so always keep in mind to be active and congenial on whatever platform you encounter the media. They’ll most likely give you more attention when they see you’ve gotten to know them and their interests.
Don’t disregard bloggers
Bloggers often publish guest posts, and are more focused on you and your product than more traditional print journalists. As with any media, make sure the blogger is relevant to your industry. Keep in mind that anyone can write a blog online, so be sure you are working with an expert. There are tools you can use to determine if a blogger is a true “influencer.” This is a more casual approach to gaining coverage.
Remember your audience
Your pitch should be tailored to the reporter’s audience, which, in turn, is your audience. Be sure that the reporter knows why his readers would care about your story. After you’re finished with your first draft of a pitch, read it aloud to colleagues to make sure it sounds ideal and ready to send.
Keep it short
It is unlikely that a journalist is going to read multiple pages of a long pitch, even if they’re hungry for news. The media is always busy and constantly hitting deadlines, so the first two lines of your pitch and your subject are the most important part. That is why it’s important to keep it brief and straightforward. You can include a supporting short paragraph but if the subject line doesn’t entice them enough to open your email then it won’t matter. Every sentence counts, so make sure your pitch is compelling and contains all the information you need the media to know.
Know your pitch
Be prepared to answer questions and provide more information. Journalists will be attracted to your pitch when they see that you have all the information they need. If you’re pitching a press release, you should attach the press release and an image.
Be relevant and add value
Alongside remembering your audience, being relevant and adding value are key. Instead of focusing on you or your client’s product, consider expanding your pitch by relating it to a current industry trend.
Pitch story not product
Journalists don’t just want information, they want a story. Without a story, there is no way to hook the reader, or the future potential audience. Keep your pitch focused on the story by getting straight to the point on what makes your news worth their readers’ attention.
Don’t forget to follow up
Following up is critical to pitching. Many journalists will not have time to respond to your emails, so you should consider following up with a phone call. Throwing a pitch out and expecting a story isn’t likely to work without a little follow up. It takes a lot of effort to get your pitch secured but it’s well worth it!
Pitching to the media can be challenging, but building relationships, perfecting your pitch-writing skills and following these tips will help you become a pro.