The Most Common Media Outreach Errors

Media outreach is an important part of your press and public relations strategy. It helps you initiate and build relationships with the media, with the hopes that eventually a few key media representatives will cover your story and your company – thus giving your organization the media coverage you want to grow your business. Unfortunately, media outreach efforts are often rife with errors. Here are some of the most common.


Spelling the person’s name wrong. You would be surprised how often this happens. Check the spelling of the reporter or journalist’s name seven times before you send any pitch or communication. Verify the spelling on their byline, blog, or social media page. There’s little that’s more off-putting than getting an email and your name is spelled wrong. Big mistake.

Blatantly using a template. It’s okay to use an email template. It really is. However, don’t cut and paste it. Create an original document, fill in the appropriate components and personalize your message. Read and edit your message and then copy and paste that content into the body of your email message. Too many media representatives have experienced the cut and paste template where it actually says FILL IN THE BLANK in the middle of the email content. Ugh. That’s not a good way to make a positive impression.

Not including your contact information, including your website. When you connect with a media representative, every single time you connect with them, make sure to include your contact information. Don’t assume they have it and don’t make them search for it. Put it in the body of your email and in your signature. Do the work for them. Take the steps to make a good impression.

Not personalizing the message. It’s not enough to say, “I’m a big fan” or “I loved your latest article.” That’s too generic and comes off as insincere. Instead, name the article that they last wrote and why you liked it. Personalize your pitch and your communications. Do your research and show it.

Not pitching a story. Pitching to a media representative is a good way to start building on your relationship, and of course, it’s often how you get your story covered and your foot in the media door. However, when you pitch, don’t pitch an event or an announcement, pitch the story. You have to be able to answer the question, “Why should I care?” for your reader. Journalists don’t care about announcements; they have to write stories, and that’s what they care about.

The good news…

These mistakes are easy to avoid. Pay attention to the details. Be thorough with your research and your communications. Be professional and work hard to make a positive impression with the media.

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