Brands and businesses know how important it is to get in front of people. But, even if you’ve been doing this for years, it can still be hard to get the attention of major media outlets like NPR or The New York Times.
Even for PR pros with decades of media pitching experience, crafting a media pitch that stands out and gets results is still a fine art. Here are some ways to make your media pitch stand out (and get more media coverage as a result)!
Make Sure your Pitch is Sent at the Right Time, and Make Sure it’s Timely.
Consider the time of day, and day of week you’re sending your pitch. Holiday weekends are typically a bad time to send a media pitch, for example. The time of year is also important.
If you’re pitching something seasonal, send it at a time that aligns with when your story would be most relevant. For example, if you’re pitching an outdoor adventure story in the winter, send it in November or December–not April!
Provide a Hook that’s Relevant to Their Audience and Newsworthy.
The hook is the one thing that will make your story interesting and newsworthy to the reporter. It should be relevant to their audience, but also compelling enough to stand out from all of the other pitches they get each day. If you can come up with a unique angle on an otherwise ordinary topic, this can be especially effective (and likely better than trying to sell them on something sensational).
For example: “I’m writing about what it’s like being an introvert in today’s society,” might not sound like much at first glance–but if there aren’t many stories out there about introverts or if none of those stories have ever talked about how being an introvert affects relationships with friends or coworkers, then this could be very appealing for journalists!
Connect with the Reporter, Not Just Their Publication.
Reporters are people too, treat them like people, not like someone just doing you a favor. Be respectful of their time and know that they are often busy people.
A lot of reporters get pitched stories every day–and those pitches are often sent via email or social media channels like Twitter or Facebook. If a story idea doesn’t immediately catch their attention, it may never get read at all! So make sure your pitch includes something interesting enough for them to want to share with their readers (more on this below).
Keep it Brief, But Don’t Forget Details!
When writing your pitch, avoid long paragraphs and sentences. It’s best to keep it brief, but don’t forget details! Include all the relevant information in order to ensure that journalists can easily understand what you’re pitching them on. Be concise, but not too brief–you want to make sure that the reporter knows what they’re getting into before calling you back for an interview or story idea.
Use bullet points to help break up the text and make it easier for readers (and editors) who may be skimming through their emails at a high speed. Use short sentences that are easy-to-read; this will also keep them interested in reading further into your pitch if they have time during busy days at work!
Don’t get discouraged, even if you’re rejected! You never know what might be in store for you next!
Even if you’re rejected, don’t take it personally. The editor may simply be too busy at the moment or they might not have space in their publication to run your story.
Blair Nicole, CEO of Media Moguls PR, offers this advice on writing a media pitch that gets results, “Good publicity doesn’t happen overnight, and anyone who tells you otherwise is just wrong. Adjust your expectations and stay the course. The best media campaigns are done with consistency, over time.”
Remember: you’re not just competing with other people’s stories, you’re competing with the entire world. That means that if your story doesn’t stand out from the crowd and grab attention quickly, then it may never get published at all. But if you follow these tips on how to make media pitches and pitch emails stand out from others’, then your chances of getting covered will increase dramatically!