Every PR professional knows the struggle of sending pitch after pitch and getting no replies. Sometimes capturing the attention of a reporter is pure luck, but most of the time it comes down to pitching smarter, not harder.
Here are four helpful tips to improve your pitches:
- Keep Your Email Subject Lines Short and Sweet
A daily challenge that PR professionals face is getting journalists to open their emails. Last year MuckRack.com noted that the U.S. had nearly five PR professionals for every reporter, nearly double the rate from a decade ago, meaning their inboxes were constantly flooded. Making sure your email subject line is short enough for the reporter to scan and know exactly what kind of opportunity you’re offering them is crucial. Put thought and creativity into it, and keep in mind that anything less than ten words is ideal.
- Avoid Email Blasts
While email blasts are an efficient way to reach many contacts at once, they’re not the most effective. Reporters don’t appreciate robotic communications that aren’t relevant to their beat, especially if it doesn’t include their name, so making sure a pitch is as personalized as possible is key. Spend time researching their content and get to know the stories they cover. If all else fails, asking the newsroom to connect you with the right contact is a helpful alternative.
- Include a Call to Action
Always make sure to include a call to action in your pitch with an invitation and next steps, such as “Happy to set up an interview with X if this is of interest – just let me know!” This method ensures that the reporter is clear on exactly what kind of opportunity you’re offering and can decide whether to proceed.
- Know When to Follow Up
Most reporters are bombarded with hundreds, if not thousands of emails a day, so don’t get discouraged if you don’t get an immediate response. Give the reporter a few days to respond before following up, and keep your next email short and to the point, making sure to reiterate why your story would be a good fit for the outlet’s audience and the reporter’s beat.
Remember that working as a team with a reporter is the best way to ensure great coverage for your client, so you can never go wrong with building a solid relationship with your media contacts.