The Secret to Successfully Pitching Journalists
Pitching journalists and media has always been our forte and while the methods have changed here and there, the core of pitching remains the same. Diligence is what’s needed to get the job done. We often get people asking us how and why we are so successful at placing stories. While sometimes we make it look like magic, the truth is it’s more about experience, persistence and acquiring stalker-like pitching qualities to target the right people at the right time. Here are our top five ways to personalize emails to journalists.
Research the right people- The first and most important piece of the puzzle is to make sure you are reaching out to the person that covers your area of news. You can easily determine the right contact by looking into previous articles they have written, looking at their bio/Linkedin/Twitter/X and last but not least, asking them if you’re unsure starts a conversation. This lets them know you’re at least thinking about it.
Time Zones – Remember that the world doesn’t revolve around you and that people live in different time zones. Try to send emails when the day perceivably wouldn’t’ be so impacted that they would actually have time to read what you send.
The subject line – This is the second most important thing next to research. I always tell my team and clients. Would you open this email if it was sent to you? Send it to yourself to test the strength of your subject line. There are also tools in Google or even subjectline.com to get a read on the success of what it may be.
Keep your pitch descriptive and concise – While you may feel the need to word vomit into an email and provide every detail of your latest company progress, its not very effective. What do you want them to do and what information do you want them to leave with? Provide expert insights on something they may be interested in and create a call to action or response in your email.
Timing of other news (be flexible!)– Big companies have always overshadowed the little guy, so be aware of the big companies in your industry and stay in touch with major announcements. In our industry, we do our best to avoid Apple’s WWDC, where most tech reporters are held captive for a few days. Due diligence = avoid WWDC week.
It may seem like these little things aren’t a big deal, but when done in the right combination you can create magic of your own. Remember to personalize the heck out of your email, wrap your news into a bigger industry trend/movement and create a call to action, so there’s room for you to follow up. In the meantime, if you find yourself overwhelmed at the list of options while browsing QWOTED, perhaps it is time to reach out to the public relations experts at The Silver Telegram for a complimentary chat about where you could improve and optimize your efforts. And once you land that big interview, we’ve put together a very popular list of media interview tips for brands that you should probably check out!