6 Most Common Mistakes Businesses Make When Pitching To Reporters

In order to write concisely, use the 5Ws of journalism, which include who, what, where why, why, and how.

Use this formula in every release and pitch. It will help you cover the main points. In addition, it will leave readers eager for more details and in-depth information. The last thing you want to do is to bore readers to death or annoy journalists with an unprofessional pitch that is just a waste of everyone’s time.

  1. Bad Timing

The 4 key timing issues you want to take into account are the time of day you send your pitch, the day of the week, the lead time (as it relates to your event), and the time of year. Keep in mind that journalists get a huge volume of leads each day and many of the events are noted and scheduled many months in advance. You can draw more attention to your pitch by taking into account anything on the calendar that affects available time such as holidays or special yearly events like the local fair.

Time of Day

Most journalists prefer to be contacted in the morning. Then they can look at the pitches and decide which to bin and which to pursue.

Day of the Week – Friday is not a good idea because things are winding down in most people’s workweek. Monday is a bad idea because it is the busiest day for many people. A day or two after a holiday are probably bad ideas as well.

Lead Time – If you are holding a huge charity event on Thursday night, don’t contact them Wednesday! If you’ve just reached an outstanding milestone, contact them right away. Don’t leave it until you get round to it. Remember, a pitch should be short and leave them wanting more.

Time of Year and Key Dates – Watch out for major holidays and events. Aim for what English journalists call the ‘silly season’, the summer, when not a lot seems to happen and they often struggle to find interesting things to write about.

  1. Poor Follow Up

Sometimes breaking news stories can sidetrack reporters. Your submission could also get lost in the shuffle. Don’t just assume. Send a follow up message after a week or so to verify the reporter received your message.

If reporters do

get Almost every well-informed online marketer knows press releases are an effective way to showcase a business. However, many business owners don’t take the time to learn how to tailor their pitches for specific types of reporters. While there are quite a number of mistakes can be made, here are the 6 most common mistakes businesses make when pitching to reporters.

  1. Assuming It’s News Worthy

Readers want to know “What’s in it for me?” if they take the time to read an article online. Journalists want to know “What’s in it that will help the audience who trusts me?” Understand what is newsworthy and pitch it. A few things that are likely to attract a journalist’s attention, as well as readers, include:

  • Product Launches
  • Fundraising
  • Milestones
  • Mergers and Acquisitions
  • Customer Special Interest Stories
  1. Skipping the Research

Don’t adopt a one-size-fits all approach. Do your research in order to pitch to the right outlet and person. If you are pitching to a specific person who is in charge of an area or topic, get the name right in your pitch. It makes you look incompetent if you can’t get a name correct.

  1. Writing Ads Instead of Info

Think like a news reporter rather than a pushy used-car salesman. Provide info that helps reporters see the angle or interest potential. What useful information will every reader gain? Why should readers care?

  1. Rambling or Wordy Information

Think of a pitch is just a teaser to entice the journalist to want to know more. You don’t need to write the whole article or blog post for them. Your pitch should be short and to the point. Journalists are busy people. The majority wants no more than 2 or 3 paragraphs and some prefer only 2 or 3 sentences. back to you, will you be ready? It can take time to master the art of writing the perfect pitch. Practice may not make perfect, but avoiding these common errors will give you a much better chance of pitching successfully.

Call us today to speak to one of our PR specialists: 1-800-713-7278

Anthony Santiago is Director of Marketing at Newswire. With over a decade of experience in PR, he helps ensure that clients understand the value of brand messaging and reach.

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