Education • Smart Start: Media Pitching 101 • 6 MIN READ

Smart Start: Media Pitching 101

Written by Maria Marchewka

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Smart Start: Media Pitching 101

From the elements of an effective media pitch to a reusable template, in this guide, you’ll get a crash course on all things media pitching.

57% of journalists receive 50-500 pitches per week.

What’s a media pitch?

You’ve written and published a press release. Now what? Do you wait until someone finds it on their own or do you actively capture the attention of the media and your target audience?

The answer is the latter and one way of attracting attention is through media pitching.

A media pitch is a short and to-the-point email (it can also be a phone call or a social media direct message) that’s written specifically for the media. Think of a media pitch like you would an elevator pitch. The goal is to get your main message across in the most concise manner possible.

It’s important to note, a media pitch isn’t one-size-fits-all. It should be unique to the person who will receive it.

Catering the content of a media pitch is a great way to show you’ve done your research and understand why the journalist/influencer would find your press release valuable and interesting enough to pursue.

The basics of media pitching

When applying for a job, as soon as your application hits a company’s system, you’re essentially thrown into a pool of candidates. Many have the same qualifications, certifications, and formal education as you. So, how do you stand out?

Sometimes it’s a uniquely-designed resume, or a handwritten thank-you note post-interview. Whichever way you decide to take, it’s crucial to differentiate yourself from other applicants.

This idea of standing out from the pack applies to media pitching too and that’s because according to research from Fractl, 46.5% of journalists receive at least 11 pitches per day while the other 28.64% receive over 26 pitches a day.

With an influx of pitches received every day, it’s imperative you cover all the bases to ensure your media pitch stands out, and for good reason. Below is a quick checklist of questions and considerations to review before pitching to the media.

Media pitch checklist:

Media pitch format

While there’s a basic format that can be used to craft a media pitch, the actual content of the pitch should change with each recipient.

As mentioned before, brevity is key. When it comes to media pitch length, it’s like a Goldilocks situation. You don’t want your pitch to be too short, but you also don’t want it to be too long. You want it to be somewhere in the middle.

To achieve the just right length, start with the why/what, give the recipient reasons to care, and end with an open line of communication.

Here’s a media pitch format to consider:

Hi _____,

I think your readers will be interested in (your product/service) as I know they’re fans of (similar topic/product). WHY/WHAT

(Your product/service) does/provides benefit 1, benefit 2, and benefit 3. REASONS TO CARE

If you’re interested, I can (send a free sample, set up an interview, share data, etc.).

You have my email, but if a call/text is easier for you, my phone number is (123)4567890. OPEN LINE OF COMMUNICATION

I look forward to hearing from you,

(Name)

Educational resources Media Pitching 101

Media pitching mistakes and tips to avoid them

Lackluster subject line

We’ve all received a random email with a subject line you know took zero thought…

Hello (insert your name)

Odds are, when an email like that hits your inbox, it gets a one-way ticket to the trash folder.

Crafting a subject line for a media pitch takes creativity and skill to get your message across in as few words as possible.

Remember, the subject line of your pitch is the first thing a journalist will read. Make it memorable. Make them want to open and read. Here are some tips:

Bad timing

Timing is everything, especially when it comes to media pitching. Before sending a pitch, think about a journalist’s day. Emails typically flood their inbox first thing in the morning and then throughout the day they’re in editorial meetings and in the throes of writing. With all these moving pieces in mind, do some testing on your own.

Consider sending a pitch mid-morning, after the early morning influx of emails or around lunch time before the afternoon deadlines hit.

Tip: Avoid sending media pitches late Friday afternoon and on the weekends. Journalists are people too, respect their time spent outside of the office.

Sales pitch

Of course, the end goal of a media pitch is about you, but you don’t want to come off that way through your pitch.

When drafting pitch content, keep the focus on your recipient. What value can you provide them? How does your story relate to other pieces they’ve written in the past? How does your story align with the interests of their readers?

Keep the focus on the journalist and their audience and you’ll likely be rewarded with an earned media opportunity.

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