If you’ve ever wondered what journalists and reporters look for in a pitch, you’re not alone. Getting your content in front of them is not an easy task. Your company has a great story to tell – maybe it’s a new product or project that could transform the future of your industry. You send out an email to pitch your story hoping it will entice a write-up and then…crickets.
In order to be successful in your pitch you need to answer one major question journalists have. Why? Why will my readers care about this? To help answer this, consider the following.
Target your audience. Sending out an email to the masses is a waste of your time and theirs (not to mention, impersonal.) Make it more personal and address a specific individual. But first, do your homework and find the right reporter for your story. You’re more likely to get traction if you reach out to the appropriate individual. If you’re a developer pitching a story about a new major project and you send the email to the food editor, there’s a likely chance your story won’t be featured.
Have you ever opened an email simply because of its eye-catching subject line? I’m willing to bet you have. Email overload is a reality in today’s fast-paced world. Nearly everyone’s inbox is flooded with an abundance of unread emails. To stand out from the crowd, draft a subject line that will pique the reader’s interest. Keep it brief and offer value. Your subject line has to convince the reader that it is worth their time to read your email.
Think about the audience and the bigger picture. While you might think your story is intriguing, you need to see it through the lens of the average reader. You may think it’s great that your company is hosting an annual awards dinner for top tiered sales individuals; however this is not the kind of story likely to attract a wide audience.
It’s important to get to the point. Avoid filling your email with “fluff.” An email pitch should be no longer than four sentences. Just think; attention spans are shorter than ever these days. You only have about 10 to 15 seconds to capture curiosity, so it’s crucial you make it count.
It’s imperative you have a strong call to action. Make sure you tell the reporter what are looking for them to do at the conclusion of your message. This may include conducting an interview, taking a tour of your facilities or writing a story. Think about your strategy and the ultimate goal so you align your call to action appropriately.
Don’t worry if you don’t hear back. Your email might get read quickly and flagged for follow-up, but people often get busy or forget to respond. This is where you come in after five to seven days with a brief reminder that you would like to chat about your initial email. Remember, keep it simple and to the point.
So, the next time you’re drafting an email to pitch a story, think of these essentials to best position your content. It may be the pitch that helps you hit a home run for your next big feature.
Bianca is an account executive and world traveler. She has an instinctive understanding for the importance of building exceptional client relationships and is a strong team player. Bianca is motivated by creating change, meticulous organization, and a great handbag. When she’s not staying on trend in the ever-changing landscape of advertising, you can find her whipping up a pizza and spending time with her pup, Hudley.