Pitching Your Press Release, How to Make the First Twenty Seconds Count

You’re busy, right? Your work days are packed with tasks, meetings, phone calls, emails, and more tasks and meetings. If someone has something to say, you want the information to be relevant, interesting, and to the point. In short, you want to make every minute count. And that goes for your press release efforts too.


You want everything that you’re working hard on to be successful and productive. So it goes to say that when you pitch a press release to the media, you want your time and effort to count. You want it to be successful, and part of that success is making sure your information is on target.

Why The First 20 Seconds Are So Important

We’ve already talked about how busy you are, and you’re not the only one. Journalists, bloggers, and media representatives are just as swamped as you are. Their time is valuable and their attention spans are short. They’ll read your pitch, if and only if it immediately captures their attention. And that generally means that you have about 20 seconds to say something meaningful or interesting before they click away and move onto the next message in their overflowing inbox.

How Do You Make Them Count?

So with only twenty seconds, you’ve got to be on your “A game.” You have to really make each word count. That starts with your subject line and from line, as well as your first paragraph and the body of your message. So let’s take a look at how to grab attention for your press release pitch in the first 20 seconds.

#1 Salutation and Greeting – It’s important to address the media representative by name and let them know how you’re connected. For example, if you have a mutual acquaintance, let them know. If you met before, let them know. If you’re connected on social media, yep, let them know.

#2 Get to The Point – Get right to the point. Tell them why you’re reaching out. You might say something like, “ABC Magazine covers all things in luxury, so I wanted to reach out with some interesting news that could serve as a valuable addition to your next issue.”

#3 What’s The Story? – At this point, you hopefully have their attention. You’ve identified who you are and how you know this journalist. You’ve also addressed that you know what they write and that your story may match their interests and audience. Now you have to get right to the story. You have to tell them what the press release is about.

For example, “XYZ Luxury Espresso Machine Company is releasing a new high end line at the Design and Architecture Show. Ahead of the show on November 17th, we would like to offer you an interview with Luxury Espresso designer to discuss his approach to design.”

At this point you can share further information about the designer, the show, and the market. It’s also important to leave contact information and links for more information.

This simple three-step approach to pitching your press release ensures you have done what’s necessary to make the very most of your time and the time and attention of your media rep. Write your pitch. Read it over and have it edited. Then send it and know you’ve pitched well.

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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