Dos and Don’ts When Pitching To Media

Pitching to the media is a combination of art and skill. You want to have a well thought out plan and of course a spectacular press release. However, it can be well worth the effort when someone picks up your release and covers it in their publication.

Do Personalize – When you’re sending a pitch to a media representative it’s important to remember that they’re a person – they’re a human being. Make sure that the email you send them is both professional and personal. Do your research and get to know what types of stories they cover. You might even mention a specific article or piece of theirs in your pitch.

Don’t Cut and Paste – No one likes to receive form emails. Not only are they dull, but if you’re trying to gain something from the message, they can be offensive to the recipient. You might create a pitch template for your messages, but fill in the blanks with original and thoughtful content.

Don’t Throw Spaghetti at The Wall – Are you familiar with that phrase? It means that you try a bunch of different things and see what sticks. In this case, it might mean sending email pitches to hundreds of journalists with the hope that one of them picks up your story. Like sending a formula email to media representatives, this isn’t a great way to build a relationship with the media.

Do Focus Your Efforts – Identify a handful of journalists that may be interested in your business and your press release information. Learn as much as you can about them and consistently focus your pitch efforts on these media reps.

Do Practice Patience – Pitching to the media is generally not something that happens overnight. It takes time. Not only will it take time for you to hear back from the representatives you reached out to, it also takes time to build relationships with them. You might not really hear anything back for several months – after you’ve pitched to them many times.

Don’t Send Them Away From Your Site – When you’re pitching to the media, it’s important to keep them focused on you and your business. This means that you don’t want to link to anyone else’s site and you don’t want to cite data from external sources.

Do Stick to the Facts – People have a tendency to embellish their press releases and their pitches. You want it to sound good so you add just a bit extra. Journalists and media representatives want you to stick to the facts. They don’t want to read a sales pitch.

Take time choosing who you’re going to pitch to and have a solid understanding of why they’re a good choice. Know what they like to write about so you can position your pitch effectively. Then reach out to them as a professional and work to begin building a relationship.

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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