By Andie Davis
As a PR pro, a decent portion of your job involves pitching the media. Usually, we reach out to the press when a client makes an announcement or if there is a news story in which a client can be a subject matter expert. Your pitch can say a lot about you and your agency in terms of professionalism, so it’s essential to take the time to get it right.
Here are some tips to perfect your pitch:
- Do your research. 50% of journalists get pitched 1-5 times per day, according to MuckRack’s 2022 State of Journalism Report. The same report says 22% of journalists will reject pitches irrelevant to their beat. By doing your homework, you can instantly make your pitch stand out, and you stand a better chance of forming a long-term relationship with that reporter.
- If you have a relevant statistic, use it! Using data is a great way to catch a journalist’s attention.
- Link, Link, Link! Always link to your client’s website, and if you have other resources that you’d like to point to (especially evidence that backs up your pitch), make sure to link to it! However, you’ll want to make sure it’s coming from a reputable source.
- Keep your pitch concise. Journalists don’t have the time to read a novel – stick to the crucial details in your pitch. One of my college professors said he found it helpful to break down a pitch using the “who, what, when, where and why” approach. Focus on what matters.
- Keep an eye on the news cycle. If it is a heavy news cycle or if there is a breaking news story in your client’s industry, it might not be the right time to pitch an announcement. However, sometimes a breaking news story may offer up an opportunity for newsjacking. For more information on newsjacking, check out this recent blog by Landis’ Robin Carr.
- Double-check that your pitch is error-free. Some journalists will reject a pitch if there is a misspelling or error. You must proofread your work before hitting send!
Perfecting your pitch may take some time, but you may receive more positive responses from journalists by consistently working at it (and maybe even trying a few of these tips).