How to Write the Perfect Pitch

June 18, 2019

Few things compare to seeing a client crush an interview on the 6 p.m. news, or reading a client name in a glossy magazine. But the work to get them there started well before the cameras rolled or magazines hit the shelf. That placement started with an expertly crafted pitch that includes the five below elements.

Do your research

Before you make a single call or press send on any email pitch, it’s your job as a PR pro to do your homework. Know the stations, columns and reporters thoroughly. Then put that knowledge to use to customize a pitch for a specific media contact based on their interests, send pitches when you know he/she is in the office, or suggest segments that make sense for your client to be a part of. This makes you trustworthy to media because you’ve put in the work to understand their profession and offer assistance without creating extra work.

Keep it short

Reports show there are nearly six PR pros for every journalist. This means journalist’s inboxes are flooded day and night with potential story ideas, corrections and interviews. Use your time and space with a journalist wisely by keeping it short, getting right to the point and cutting out the unnecessary fluff.

Make it relevant and informative for journalists’ audiences

PR pros have the job to represent clients well. Journalists have the job of informing the public. Those can be symbiotic relationships, but as a PR pro, you must figure out how your client or announcement is useful for the public. For example, does it fit into a larger national trend that could be localized and explained by your client? Are there recently published studies that back-up the problem your client is solving? Finding those tie-ins make the pitch something journalists feel compelled to share with their audience.

Be helpful

Once a journalist starts considering your pitch, his/her mind immediately goes to what next steps or info are needed to complete the story, so sharing this info upfront cuts out back and forth. B-roll, photos, expert interviewees, onsite visuals, customer testimonials and press releases are all examples of potential sources of information a journalist might need or want to complete a story. The earlier you can share these resources, the better since they could sway a story’s chance of being covered.

Ask for what you want

With thousands of emails and calls daily, journalists don’t have the time or energy to be mind readers. If you have a specific idea for an interview spot or a column that would be perfect for this announcement, say it directly. Again, this eliminates some of the back and forth and can help journalists begin to visualize the resulting article or segment.

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