Press release writing can be stressful, but media pitches are another monster altogether. A pitch is a short email or letter about a potential story, an upcoming event or new product. Media pitches are sent out to journalists to give them a quick update about your company’s news. The goal is to convince them to take your company’s news and subsequently write their own article. This can be a daunting task, but understanding how to pitch is important.

Here are some tips to keep in mind when putting together your pitch:

  • Do some research: Don’t just send out a pitch for your product or event to every journalist you can find in the area. That will only serve to alienate potential contacts, because no journalist wants to sort through emails about cooking shows or new book releases when they only cover sports. You’re much more likely to receive feedback from your pitch if you narrow your list down to twenty or thirty relevant journalists than one hundred random ones.
  • Tailor your writing: Once you’ve compiled your shortened list of journalists, your work isn’t done yet. Before you send out each pitch, make sure to look over your writing. There’s always room for improvement, and your best bet is to make your pitch appealing to a journalist. Tailor your pitch to show the ways that your client or product fits in with whatever subject the journalist covers. Adding personalization shows that you put in research, and journalists appreciate that kind of effort.
  • Be straightforward: After sending out your pitch, you may want to make a follow-up call later in the day or even 24 hours after the fact to confirm the journalist has received his/her email. This isn’t a bad practice—journalists receive a lot of emails, and things can very easily slip through the cracks—but don’t attempt to disguise or distract your call as anything other than a check-in. Be upfront about your call, and just let the journalist know why you’re calling and why the pitch is relevant, basically a shorter rundown of your original email. If the journalist is interested in your story, he/she will take the time to ask you more questions about your pitch.
  • Take advantage of social media: Outside of your pitch, stay up to date with local or favorite journalists by following them on Twitter and keeping track of what topics they’ve been posting lately. Additionally, it’s also smart to follow and stay in contact with Help A Reporter Out, or HARO, which provides a database for potential stories and pitches for press and publicity alike.

Hopefully some of this advice for putting together and sending out pitches was helpful!

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