How to Personalize Your Pitch

Ask anyone what the biggest pitching mistake is and they’ll tell you that it’s not personalizing your pitch. But what does that mean? How do you personalize a pitch? These 15 tips and steps will help you succeed.


  1. Know their name. It seems so simple but you’d be surprised how often journalists get generic pitches. “Dear media representative” is inexcusable, and your email will immediately be deleted.
  2. Know who they write for. Understand the publication that they write for. What are the goals? What articles do they write and when are they published? Become familiar with their material.
  3. Know their audience (and make sure it matches yours). If a media representative’s audience doesn’t match yours, then it won’t do you any good to build a relationship with them. And they won’t be interested in your story. Don’t waste your time or theirs.
  4. Know where else they’ve written. Google the media rep’s name. Who else have they written for? What publications? How has their career changed? It’s good to have some background.
  5. Know their writing style. Do they prefer interviews? Do they like lots of facts and data? Provide the materials they need to support them to cover your story.
  6. Know their timeline if possible. How many articles do they write each week? How much lead time do they need for a story?
  7. Know what they’ve written (and mention it if it fits into your pitch). Read what they’ve written and don’t hesitate to discuss other articles or news pieces if they fit into your news or story idea.
  8. Know why they will care about your story. Do they write human interest stories? If so, then your story better have a human interest component. If they write factual pieces about research or industry trends, then your piece better have those components. Know why they might care about your story.
  9. Know your industry, trends, challenges, news. This is important. You have to be able to understand your industry now and how your news impacts your audience. And the more educated you are on your industry, the more valuable you’ll be to any media rep.
  10. Know what the media rep will need from you and be proactive about it. For example, you might set up a media package just for them and this story. It might include video, headshots of relevant people, fact sheets, case studies and anything else you feel the media rep may want to access when considering your story.
  11. Provide contact information.
  12. Tell them when and how you’ll follow up, and then follow through.
  13. Give them a call to action; show them how they can follow up with you and where to get more information.
  14. Know if they’ve written about your competition.
  15. Know, if possible, who they have relationships with in your industry.

Personalizing your pitch is important. Too often, people send out template pitches to dozens, if not hundreds, of journalists, bloggers, and media representatives. Target a few chosen representatives and get to work building that relationship. These 15 tips will help get you where you want to go.

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.

Catch up on the rest of your content marketing news and strategy