How to Pitch to A Cold Media Contact

In the world of media pitching and press and public relations, the cold pitch really isn’t part of the plan. It’s all about the long game, making connections, and building relationships. Once that relationship has been initiated, then – and only then – do you pitch.


However, overlooking an opportunity to pitch simply because you don’t have an existing relationship means missing out on potential gains. The key is to know how to pitch to a cold media contact or someone that you’ve never met before. As you might suspect, it takes a bit more finesse than pitching to someone that you know.

  1. You Still Have to Do Your Research. Sure, you don’t have to have a burgeoning relationship with the media representative, but you still have to make sure that you know who you’re pitching to and why. You must make sure that you know how to spell their name correctly and that they actually cover stories like the one you’re pitching.

And you have to know how to frame your pitch. Spend fifteen minutes, at least, reviewing other pieces that they’ve written and make sure you’re pitching to someone who will care.

  1. Be Transparent. Be completely upfront and let them know that you’re pitching a story to them. Be clear about what you’re offering, and get straight to the point and pitch your story idea.
  2. Work the Subject Line. Because the media representative doesn’t know you, and because they have limited time, your subject line has an important job. It has to motivate the journalist to open your email. Don’t make it salesy. You’ll get dumped into the junk email box faster than you can say “press release.” Do include a short sentence about your story. For example, “The reason why new year’s resolutions don’t work for your December issue.”
  3. Follow a Simple Format. Once you’ve greeted the journalist, introduced yourself, and described your story idea, there is a little bit more to include in your pitch. It should still be short and succinct. You’ll want to include a brief bio, explain who you are or who your company is and why you’re an expert on this subject matter.
  4. Don’t Forget to Include a Call to Action. Provide a link where they can learn more about your company. Also, make sure that you include your contact information so they can reach you immediately and directly. This should include both your email address and your telephone number.

As with any pitch, cold or warm, make sure you give the media representative enough time to write the story. Generally, a good rule of thumb is at least a week before your launch, event, or announcement. Pitching cold may not happen often, but it’s an opportunity that you don’t want to overlook.

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