Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Five (more) tips to writing the perfect PR pitch

I read the post "10 Tips to write the perfect pitch" on, a PR resource blog and a twitter follower (@asked me what I thought.

The article does offer good tips. Mostly useful. And I don't disagree with any of them.

However, I'd like to offer some more tips to writing the perfect pitch to add to the list.

1. Be brief
I will probably say this 1,000 times on this blog. I get 1000+ emails a week. I do not read long emails. The shorter and more to the point your pitch, the MORE LIKELY I AM to do a story on your pitch.

2. Put an action item close to the top
Tell me what you want me to do up front. Make sure it is a clear action item. "Can I connect you to the CEO this week?" "Will you post this news on your blog?" "Is this a story you want to write for this week's paper?" are good examples.

3. Pitch to the relevant reporter
Make sure what your pitching me is what I do. If you're pitching a restaurant, pitch it to the restaurants reporter. If you don't know who the restaurant reporter is, look up the paper online and search for restaurant stories. Send it to the reporter that wrote the most, or the most recent restaurant stories. Dont just send your pitch to EVERY reporter you can find. Reporters hate that. We talk about it. We all get together and delete those pitches simultaneously.

4. Pitch the relevant geography
The large majority of newspapers, magazines and blogs cover specific geographies. The state of California, or more likely, a region in California that includes specific counties. Find out what those counties are. If you don't know, and you have a relationship with a reporter, ask that reporter to tell you what counties he or she covers. Don't send a Los Angeles reporter a story about a Virginia company with no connection to Los Angeles. I get hundreds of these displaced pitches a week and I block the sender from my email.

5. Pitch stories consistent with what that media outlet does
When pitching a business journal, pitch stories on companies, in that journal's coverage area, that have legitimate news (growth, new C-level executives, new funding). If you're pitching a daily newspaper, pitch stories that have large community impact, or are trends those communities will particularly care about. Make sure to pitch for the appropriate section. If you pitch bloggers, pitch stories that exactly target their niche and are appropriate for their target readership. READ articles of the media you are pitching BEFORE sending your pitch so you know what kinds of stories they run and can make sure your pitch is consistent.

I care less about spelling mistakes, emoticons, and exclamation points than I do about the content of the pitch. Yes, if you include those things, I might make fun of you and share them with my colleagues.  But all is forgiven if you make my job easier. You do that by writing clear, relevant pitches that contain real news. If you do that, You will soon gain something you have always wanted: Coverage.

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