Pitching in PR is an art form that requires practice – you’re unlikely to get it right first time. But there are some key things to remember when approaching a journalist with a story. They’re busy people and they get hundreds of emails just like yours. But journalists and PR professionals rely upon each other to get the best stories out to the greater public. So how do you make your PR pitch stand out?
Keep it short and sweet
Less is more with a PR pitch. Don’t try to tell them the whole story, just the key points that matter. Be concise and try to stick to less than 200 words. If an email looks like an essay when they open it, a journalist is likely to push the delete button if they are in a hurry. Present your pitch in small, digestible, engaging chunks, answer any questions posed, and be the solution to the problem if there is one. Try to avoid waffle, keep it simple and avoid any jargon. Outline the value of the story enough for them to ask for more.
Know your audience
Do your research about the person and the publication that you’re approaching. Look at the sorts of stories they tend to run, look at the types of people they tend to feature and make your pitch fit their bill. Remember you’re talking to a real human being, take the time to find out the name of the person you need to direct your pitch to, send a personalised email and show that you could be a solution for them. Be prepared with an article or a topic that is likely to be of interest to their audience and give them enough details to show that you can give them what they need.
Why should a journalist choose you or your client and not someone else? Is your article or viewpoint newsworthy? Does it evoke emotion? Point out the uniqueness, tell them something that makes your story memorable or makes you stand out from the rest. Tailor your pitch as if it were a cover letter for a job application. And if they don’t bite, only follow up your initial approach once – you don’t want to annoy anyone!
There’s no exact science to it a PR pitch but the best pitches show both honesty and personality. Make it personal and, most importantly, be yourself, as it will be the most effective way to engage someone. People buy from people, as the saying goes, so just be you.
Know what you want to achieve
Ensure you have a clear idea of what you want to achieve before you start. Are you hoping to provide an expert opinion, secure a regular guest blog or simply get your name in print? Are you happy to pay if there’s a cost involved? Decide beforehand what you want and then go out and get it!
Every pitch should be different and it is subjective as to how each journalist likes to be approached, and how you work, however this list is a good starting point. Vitally, remember to give an outline of the story and its value and know its worth.
To find out how we can help you and your business pitch to the media, visit: https://ballyhoo-pr.co.uk/services/public-relations/