By Jena Vuylsteke Williamson, PR & Social Media Senior Account Executive
September 11, 2017
What’s an average day like for a journalist? In a word, busy. In addition to reporting, writing and editing, journalists are tasked with reviewing hundreds of pitch emails from PR professionals and brand spokespeople every day.
With so many pitches to choose from, getting your brand’s message or story idea noticed can be challenging. But there are ways to stand out above the noise. Here are a few do’s and don’ts to consider as you develop your pitch.
There are hundreds of writers, editors and freelancers, and each one covers a specific topic or beat. Before you begin drafting a pitch, be sure to research the publication you are hoping to be covered in, and find a writer with a history of writing about your industry. Spend some time reviewing his or her most recent work and familiarize yourself with the types of story angels they gravitate to. Getting your message to the right person is the first step in having your pitch read and considered for a story.
Don’t: Send The Same Mass Email Pitch
If you are anything like me, you probably receive 15 plus e-newsletters per day and open one, if any. Now, imagine if your inbox was flooded with hundreds of those each day. While sending out a mass email can be a quick way to distribute information to the media, in no way does it guarantee media coverage. In fact, it often deters it. Many journalists have inbox filters set up that automatically send mass generated emails straight to their spam folder.
Do: Craft a Catchy Subject Line
The subject line of your pitch email is the first thing a journalist will see so be sure to choose your words wisely. Draft at least five different subject lines before you hit send. Your best ideas may come to you on the fourth or fifth try.
Don’t: Pitch a Novel
You might have a complex story to tell, but explaining every detail in your pitch may cause it to be overlooked. Think about the five W’s of your message: who, what, where, when and why. Deliver those key facts in a concise and courteous way and chances are your response rate will improve.
Do: Hire a PR Professional
PR professionals specialize in media relations and are a great resource to tap into when looking to share company news. At Stephan & Brady, we have an experienced PR team dedicated to helping our clients get covered by major consumer and trade media outlets including the Huffington Post, New York Times, BuzzFeed and Food & Wine, just to name a few.
Looking to get your message in front of the media? We’d love to brainstorm with you! Email firstname.lastname@example.org to get in touch.