Crafting a successful media pitch is one of the most important skills a public relations professional can hone because a compelling pitch is the key to obtaining quality media coverage.
It’s important to remember that the sole purpose of a pitch is to gain the interest of a journalist or editor, who will then feature your company in a newsworthy way and get you in front of your target audience. With just a single feature in the right publication, reporters and editors can instantly take your company’s exposure to the next level, which is why it’s imperative to properly write an attention-grabbing pitch.
Here are three practical ways to make sure your pitch for your trade association stands out, builds rapport with reporters, and ultimately lands you media coverage!
01. MAKE IT PERSONAL
Email blasts and generic pitches are easy to spot. Ask any journalist or editor and they will tell you that their number one frustration with public relations is lazy pitches!
Before pitching to a journalist or editor, take the time to do your research:
- Understand their beat and the audience they write for.
- Read a previous story they published or even a recent social media post.
- Use their previous work to find a common thread to reference in your pitch.
- Speak to them directly, personalize with their name.
This takes time and intention and may take more time than writing the pitch itself! When you personalize your pitches, it shows the journalist or editor that you are paying attention, you understand what is important to them, and it will increase the chances of your pitch being picked up.
02. MAKE IT QUICK
Editors and journalists can receive hundreds of pitches every single week. Chances are, if they can’t understand the purpose of your pitch with a quick skim, they will move on.
To increase the chances of your pitch being read:
- Make it fewer than 200 words.
- Keep sentences short.
- Use bullet points and subheads for quick callouts.
03. MAKE IT CLEAR
Pitch writing consists of persuasion, creative thinking, and storytelling. All three of those elements combined can make it easy to run away with your pitch. Be disciplined in your approach, have your content tight and concise, and get to the point.
Another way to make your pitch clear starts with your subject line! Believe it or not, your subject line is one of the most important tools because it is your first impression. Your pitch can have an incredible hook but it doesn’t matter much if your email never gets opened.
Keep your subject line to a maximum of 10 words and use it as a sneak-peek of what is inside your pitch for your trade association.
Pitches need to feel personal, but they also need structure to be valuable to the journalist or editor. As you begin your pitch, have the mindset that you are providing a roadmap for how you can set up the article. Make sure to explain the five Ws (who, what, when where, and why) of your story. Give the journalist or editor reasons why their audience would be interested in a story like yours. Finally, give them their next step. Tell them what to do next, a specific call to action you want them to take as a result of your pitch.
Pitch writing is both an art and a science and just like anything, it takes time to become successful at it! With enough practice, it is a skill that you can perfect over time!
If you would like help with public relations, feel free to contact us. We offer a variety of services like digital marketing & analytics, marketing & brand strategy, and more to small and large companies.