While it might not be as effective as presenting in person, pitching via email is the most commonly used technique to send press releases to the media. This can be effective, and it can be a simple and useful tool to maintain good relationships with journalists, however there are certain golden rules that you’ll need to follow. Plus, there are some big mistakes that you’ll need to avoid in order to make sure you’re pitching successfully, so make sure you act on these following seven mistakes and avoid them at all costs.
1. You’ve Made It about You and Your Business
While you may be super excited about the business or concept that you’re pitching, you’ll get the best responses when you make your pitch about the benefits the journalist, their readers, and their paper can enjoy when they publish your story. You need to frame your pitch in a way that makes it appealing to the media, not just your business and consumers. Muck Rack can help you monitor the news, so you know exactly what the papers are looking for in a story, and you can hand it to them in your pitch.
2. You’re Not Offering a Hook
A press release isn’t quite the same as a story, and it’s not automatically newsworthy. Provide a very brief introduction and a couple of bullet points offering information on exactly how your press release is newsworthy and why it’s worth the journalist writing a story. Cision can provide you with all the analytics you need to figure out what’s a newsworthy story and what isn’t.
3. Your Pitch is Too Convoluted
Using a long-winded and wordy pitch can instantly put a journalist off reading through your whole text, and they may decline to insert your story into the news at all. It can pay off to have a proficient editor, and it’s really easy to hire one from Ukwritings or Big Assignments to make sure that you keep your emails brief and succinct. If the journalist needs more information for a story they’ll ask for it – but being concise can make you a whole lot more appealing.
4. You Aren’t Contacting the Right Journalists
Some journalists are more than happy to take a press release with it and run with it, some are more determined to find other local stories, and will only look at press releases when they have time. You can find journalists or let journalists find you with Help A Reporter or Just Reach Out. These sites make it easy to pair with journalists who will be keen to publish your press releases, and also help you build great working relationships.
5. You’re Embellishing Too Much
When you send a press release, it’s pretty tempting to really try and promote your content, and sell it to the journalist in the hopes that they’ll sell it to their readers in the same way. In reality the press can turn your pitch into something great, so long as they have all of the basic information that they need to work with. Academized can help with your copywriting to make sure you stick to the point in your pitches.
6. You Don’t Verify Your Information
When you send details to a journalist they need to be able to fully verify everything you’ve told them, and you can make their lives easier and get your release out a lot faster by naming your sources. Whether your product is better because you’ve listened to research – and can provide a reference for the research, or because you’re using safe and approved materials, everything you’ve done is a lot more appealing to a journalist who can verify it. While writing up your references and sources is always annoying, Cite It In can make it easier.
7. You Aren’t Getting the Timing Right
Like all aspects of business, your PR pitches should by strategic and well times, and they should also be executed with precision. Minor details like monitoring, spelling, grammar, and word count, all easy to track with Easy Word Count, should be considered, as well as when is the most effective time to contact the press.
Overall, pitching PR to the media should be simple, and your emails can be incredibly effective so long as you avoid the mistakes listed above.
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