Pitching to media has become increasingly difficult over the years. With new technologies and the decreased number of newsroom staff has changed the chances of pitches being picked-up, let alone read.

It is no surprise that time is of the essence for the media. The turnaround time for news has become shorter in the age of social media. What was considered news 10 minutes ago is no longer “current news”. Sending the right pitch at the right time is essential when trying to get picked up. But, how does this work when the media’s too busy to open all the pitches sent to them on a daily basis?

One out of every 65 pitches are getting coverage, which is 1.5% of pitches in general, but even that can be deemed as deceiving. Coverage does not refer back to a classic article written about the company’s release, but can also mean “feature” or “mention”. –These things are still great in terms of receiving earned media, but businesses expect more.

It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Spam…

People have been pitching to journalists, producers, bloggers, etc. for years now via email, and while it is a great thing to do, the media is starting to filter out the noise. Whenever a media contact sees “PRESS RELEASE” or “FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE”, the email is sent to spam or weaved out of their main inbox. Businesses and PR agencies are lacking the interest the media is looking for.

It is important for people to properly pitch to journalists. Sending out PR blasts to a list of 1,000 is not helping anyone. Wouldn’t you rather get 1 pick-up from a list of 10 journalists v. receive 100 opens, but no traction from a list of 1,000+? Plus, there is the chance of being blacklisted by a media contact for sending them too many spam-like emails.

What if your story was just what a journalist was looking for, but your email actions have caused you to be blacklisted? You have missed out on a great opportunity. The best way to send an email to a media contact is to personalize it. Why? Because you are showing interest and taking your time to learn about that contact. Show them your interest in their previous work and why you chose them. Explain why your news can benefit them and their audience. Be personable and play in their best interests.

Releases that have personalized pitches, with a in-depth understanding of the person’s professional background, work, and publication are the ones that receive the media’s attention. You want to be part of that 1.5%, the one out of 65. Make your pitch stand out in the midst of jargon emails. Remember, you are creating potential relationships with these contacts, let your first impression be memorable.