How to Pitch To the Press – Success Strategies

Learn all you can about the media representative you’re going to pitch to. Read what they’ve written – everything they’ve written in the past six months to a year. Read about their career. Have they won awards for their writing? If so, what were they? What other publications have they worked for?

How long have they been at their existing publication? What stories do they cover? Do they have a favorite topic? What approach do they take in their stories? What type of information do they often include in their story? Learning all of this information will help you not only make sure your press release is right for them, but it will also help you create a pitch that appeals to the journalist or press representative. Learn about the publication they write for as well. Make sure your story is a good fit for both before you pitch.

Give them a reason to contact you. The information in your pitch has to be both relevant and interesting to the audience your journalist writes for. It also helps if there is some element of urgency to your pitch. Make sure that you tell the journalist why the story is a good one by answering the question, “how does this story improve the lives of your audience?” The time element can be added by including a launch date, an event date or some other deadline that will motivate the journalist to act quickly.

Be brief. Get right to the point of your press release. Keep your release to less than 200 words. Within those words tell the journalist why you’re contacting them, what your story is, and how they can get more information or contact you.

Help them take the next step. Don’t end your conversation by signing off on the email. Allow the conversation to continue by asking a question. For example, if you’re releasing the results of a new study you might invite the journalist to let you know if they are interested in receiving a copy of the study.

Following up is hard to do. Many people want to follow up a few times. The truth is that you may never hear back from the journalist. Even if you don’t get a response, it’s still only appropriate to send one follow-up email. If you’re professional and courteous, they’ll remember you and you may get the next story covered.

Sometimes it takes a little time and patience to build a relationship with the press. Take the time to research each journalist you pitch. Craft an email that’s just for them – don’t cut and paste your pitch to several journalists. Let them know who you are and what your story is about. If the story is right for them, they’ll follow up with you.

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